Saturday, February 26, 2011


Baseball Gave Mets Secret $25 Million Loan - "Major League Baseball provided $25 million to the owners of the Mets as they struggled to deal with a cash shortfall last fall and a looming lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme, according to two people briefed on the arrangement."

On Knowing your subject

Evolution is in fact Degeneration: FAQ:
"I’ve done VWO B, had an A minus for biology and really thought about studying biology, but it in the end it became electrotechnical engineering. I’ve studied that for two years, after which I attended the International Bible School in Heverlee, Belgium. The subject evolution has never let me go. In the TV-programs for the National EO (Evangelical Broadcasting Company) I often dealt with the matter."

Seems more than adequate as a background for writing a book on evolutionary theory to me ...

On Shower Faucets

funny graphs - Lukewarm, I Am Your Water
see more Funny Graphs

Video - Networks for Multi-Core Chips

 I am a geek and find this most interesting

Children in bank vaults

Locksmith to the rescue frees toddler from bank vault | "A 14-month-old girl spent hours trapped inside a Conyers bank vault Friday evening after wandering off from her mother and grandmother, an employee at the Wells Fargo branch."

Rep Bobby Franklin is a Passive Aggressive Asshole

Rep. Bobby Franklin would prefer you yell about his legislation over the phone, thankyouverymuch! | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta:
"State Rep. Bobby Franklin, the Marietta Republican whose greatest achievement under the Gold Dome has been to earn Georgia negative press, has probably the most passive-aggressive autoreply we've ever seen. Courtesy of a constituent who wanted to share some opinions with the state lawmaker:

From: 'Franklin, Bobby'
Date: [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: [redacted]
Due to the unreliability of the General Assembly’s technical support team, it is unlikely that I will receive your email. Please call my office at 404-656-0152.
It is really hard to overstate what a fuckwit Bobby Franklin is.


Physics and Physicists: Want Tender Asparagus? Use Physics!: "The only trick is to apply your forces correctly so that the maximum shear stress appears at the woody end of the asparagus and the minimum shear stress appears at the tender end. If you do it the wrong way, you’ll just break off the tip. So grip the tip in one hand, about an inch from the end. With your other hand grip the other end of the asparagus as close to the cut as you can. Hold the tip steady in one hand and bend the cut end, making sure that the axis of rotation is between your index finger and thumb. The asparagus will snap right at the junction between tender and woody."

Pulling with Light

[1102.4905] Backward Pulling Force from a Forward Propagating Beam: "A photon carries a momentum of, so one may anticipate light to 'push' on any object standing in its path via the scattering force. In the absence of intensity gradient, using a light beam to pull a particle backwards is counter intuitive. Here, we show that it is possible to realize a backward scattering force which pulls a particle all the way towards the source without an equilibrium point. The underlining physics is the maximization of forward scattering via interference of the radiation multipoles. We show explicitly that the necessary condition to realize a negative (pulling) optical force is the simultaneous excitation of multipoles in the particle and if the projection of the total photon momentum along the propagation direction is small (as in some propagation invariant beams), attractive optical force is possible. This possibility adds 'pulling' as an additional degree of freedom to optical micromanipulation."

Woodpeckers and Football

Cocktail Party Physics: if woodpeckers played football: "See? I told you it wasn't a stupid question. It's easy to snicker at seemingly superfluous scientific research, but in this case, something as trivial as looking a bit more closely at a woodpecker could one day help stave off brain damage in NFL players. Maybe it's too late for Dave Duerson, but it's not too late for tomorrow's gridiron stars."

On String Theory as Religion

The Reference Frame: Four reasons why I like string theory (guest blog): "However, there are good indications that the laws of physics are somehow selected to promote intelligent life in a way that would not be consistent with a single unique set of physical laws, contradiction! Luckily the multiverse comes to the rescue in the form of the string landscape. It turns out that string theory does indeed follow from some unique over-arching M-theory, but it can be realized in many forms in lower dimensions by a choice of vacuum determined by the compactification manifold. A wide range of these vacua are stable and there could be as many as 10^500 of them, plenty enough to account for anthropic reasoning. In my view it is the perfect outcome."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Money Money Money

Ga. bill would end ban on utility contributions - BusinessWeek: "A key Georgia Republican state senator wants public utilities and their employees to be able to contribute to political campaigns."

Gingrich needs a new brain

Gingrich: Obama's DOMA Move Sounds Impeachable To Me (VIDEO) | TPMDC: "Speaking with Newsmax, the former House Speaker and oft-rumored 2012 presidential contender said that the Obama administration's decision to no longer defend DOMA in federal court is a 'a violation' of President Obama's 'Constitutional oath and clearly it is something which cannot be allowed to stand.'"

Bush refuses speaking invite because of assange

WOMEN'S LENS - Un coup d'oeil féminin: George W. Bush refuse de croiser Julian Assange: "«L'ancien président n'a aucune envie de participer à un forum avec un homme qui a volontairement et à plusieurs reprises attenté aux intérêts des États-Unis», a indiqué dans un communiqué le porte-parole de M. Bush, David Sherzer."

Mike Capuano can STFU as well

Dem Rep to unions: Time to get ‘bloody’ « New Hampshire Journal:
"“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members."

I know that he has apologized but this is beyond merely being uncivil and clearly into the territory of being an incitement to violence. That is unacceptable no matter who is saying it and Rep Capuano should be ashamed of himself.

New Fiction worth reading?

Solace of quantum - Newspaper - Mail & Guardian Online: "The noir detective tale has grown from an interesting sidestream of fantasy and science fiction into a dominant current. Now, in the wake of China Miéville's The City and The City and Kraken, Jeff VanderMeer's Finch and Charles Stross's Laundry series, new writer Hannu Rajaniemi has produced an exhilarating ride through cutting-edge particle physics, married to stylistic conventions drawn from the detective tales of the early 20th century."

I reject objective reality and substitute my own

Sick leave requirement 'a vicious circle' ( "Though a recent poll shows that companies can provide paid sick leave for their employees with little consequences, one conservative commentator disagrees.

The study released by the Institute for Women's Policy Research reveals that San Francisco's paid sick leave ordinance, which requires small businesses and large corporations to pay for sick leave, is a plus for employees and has only a minor negative impact on companies.

But Wayne Miller (R), a former congressional candidate for the 34th District, explains that mandating companies to provide paid sick days increases cost and cuts back on jobs."

Sloppy number crunching by Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein - Health-insurance industry: Still not that profitable: "The health-care sector is absurdly profitable. According to this data at Yahoo Finance, the sector-wide profit margin is 21.5 percent. But the insurance industry is one of its least-profitable parts: Its profit margin is at 4.54 percent. Hospitals are also a bit strapped, with an average margin of 3.5 percent."

Might be posting on this on the weekend after I have some time to dig into the numbers but the dataset that he gave is very weak on details and i am a bit surprised that he would use it as backup for his point.

Fox News Pushing The Gay Agenda!

Fox News compromising 'fair and balanced'? ( "'I'm hearing from the inside that there is gay staff at Fox [and] at least producer,' the AFTAH president reports. 'So, as always, you see that's sort of the role of the [NJGJA]. They have powerful journalists who are homosexuals, and they're working from the inside to push the media to be more and more pro-homosexual.'"

Talk of assassination isn't funny

Town Hall Attendee Asks GA Republican When Someone Is Going To Shoot Obama | TPMMuckraker: "An audience member at a town hall hosted by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) on Tuesday asked the Tea Party congressman who was going to shoot President Barack Obama.

The unidentified town hall attendee's question got a big laugh from the audience, reports Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Richard Cohen is concerned

Richard Cohen - Government pensions, an obesity epidemic: "These examples of pension obesity were culled from the local newspapers, which never fail to shock with revelations of how good life is for those who once worked for the city, the state or any one of several public agencies. In some cases, retirement came a mere 20 or so years after first reporting to HR and, if you were lucky enough to fake a disability - oh, my aching back! - the sky is virtually the limit. Fully one-third of all New York City cops who retired during a recent 17-month period did so on disability. They have dangerous jobs, we all know - but not nearly as dangerous as Long Island Rail Road workers. Almost all of them retired on disability. All aboard!"

on fiscal responsibility

Badass Quote of the Day : Dispatches from the Culture Wars: "The right always discovers the need for fiscal responsibility the moment the other party takes control."

Oddest Framing ever

Yglesias » The Coming Shutdown: "The fact that a president (with his nationwide constituency) and a House Speaker flush with midterm victory (having won most recently) both have plausible claims to popular legitimacy makes these kind of clashes difficult to resolve. If Obama were the King of England, then what would happen is that over time his legitimacy would erode and power would pass to the Speaker."

Anti-Vac folks can STFU please

Anti-Vaccine Hysteria Leads To Highest Rate Of Whooping Cough In 6 Years | Oliver Willis: "More than 21,000 people got whooping cough last year, many of them children and teens. That’s the highest number since 2005 and among the worst years in more than half a century, U.S. health officials said Wednesday."

marketing mishaps

Photo of the Day: The Natinals continue to get no respect | HardballTalk: "Probably a minor NatsFail to be sure — and it probably will be fixed shortly — but you’d think would make sure that a team name is spelled right on the website selling the merch:"

On Honesty at Fox news

Is Fox's Distortion Of Gallup Poll Premeditated Lying Or Across-The-Board Incompetence? | Media Matters for America: "Did a Fox producer misread the poll? Did anybody bother to check whether the graphic was accurate? Did they decide to just willfully misrepresent the poll in the hopes their viewers wouldn't ever check to see if they were lying? Or are we somehow supposed to believe the incredibly unlikely scenario that both Kilmeade and whoever creates the F+F graphics just happened to make the same mistake?"

On voting stupidly

The Washington Monthly: "Here's the roll call, showing that the Scalise Amendment passed 249 to 179. The 249-vote majority -- 236 Republicans and 13 Democrats -- actually voted to deny funding to a job that doesn't exist, to resist a policy agenda that doesn't exist."

on Voter ID

Ezra Klein - Scott Walker understands power: "The impact of ID requirements is even greater for the elderly, students, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and people of color. Thirty-six percent of Georgians over 75 do not have a driver’s license. Fewer than 3 percent of Wisconsin students have driver’s licenses listing their current address. The same study found that African Americans have driver’s licenses at half the rate of whites, and the disparity increases among younger voters; only 22% of black men aged 18-24 had a valid driver’s license. Not only are minority voters less likely to possess photo ID, but they are also more likely than white voters to be selectively asked for ID at the polls."

On Reality based governance

The Disconnect - First Draft: "But part of this is actually a failure of leadership and a failure to listen, a failure to actually look at the numbers and a willingness to go with the easiest storyline, the things 'everybody knows' without actually questioning if everybody knows them. Part of the reason the narrative is what it is, is that nobody in power is standing up and saying look, this is totally incorrect, and also shut your face, teachers aren't Satan and what is wrong with you? "

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

on Campaign financing

How to Have Private Conversations with Powerful Pols | FDL Action: "Of course, if, as a country, we adopted public campaign financing, politicians wouldn’t need to spend all day chatting with weird billionaires in the hopes of convincing them to give large amounts of money to finance their campaigns. Instead, they might actually spend time thinking about what regular voters want. If that happened, we might not have Wall Street millionaires paying less in taxes (thanks to the capital gains tax loophole) than public school teachers."

on guns and rallies

Hullabaloo: "In a democracy there is no more inappropriate place to being a gun than a political rally. If this becomes common in our country, we'll have devolved one more level into plutocracy --- defended by a violent mob. Free societies just don't have citizens packing heat to political rallies to intimidate their political opponents. Even by our own worst standards, this is not the American way."

No Labels is very concerned by the incivility in Wisconsin

From No Labels
Thousands of public employees have flooded the state capitol to protest the proposed cuts. Chanting “Heil Walker! Stop the Maniac” while holding up signs that compare the Governor to Hitler, this demonization has only contributed to the disorder that the state faces in the wake of its fiscal shortfall. It’s understandable that passions are running high with so much at stake, but that’s no justification for the name-calling and denigration we’re seeing.
No Labels can go fuck themselves if this is the most useful thing they have to say.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

on football

illiterate Electorate: With the middle class gone, the wealthy go after the rich (Or Fuck the NFL): "Poor and middle class laborers in this United States have dealt with such mercantile practices for over a century. This situation is the first I know of whereby the super rich are about to eat the rich. What a perfect example of the systemic upward flow of capital (AKA Rick Scottonomics). If this lockout goes through, I urge everyone to forever boycott the NFL. Instead, watch college football, were you can see exploited young minorities making rich dudes tons of money while they get paid peanuts under the table."

All you need to know about Bobby Franklin

Georgia House of Representatives - Representative:
"Representative Franklin has been called 'the conscience of the Republican Caucus' because he believes that civil government should return to its biblically and constitutionally defined role."

I think that I have to start calling him Taliban Bobby

Drudge lies? Unpossible!

No More Mister Nice Blog: "A braised short rib is a relatively lean cut of beef, braised with most of the fat cooked off. The 5-ounce serving runs about 600 calories, Liken said -- a far cry from the 1,500 calories and 141 grams of fat it's accused of."

On Republicans and Families

Daily Kos: Republicans: Kids wouldn't need Head Start if moms would just stay home: "If Republicans really wanted women to stay home with their children, they'd support family leave laws that help them to do just that. But they don't.

If Republicans really wanted women to stay home with their children, they'd support health care reform that allows women to obtain affordable health care for themselves and their children. But they don't.

If Republicans really wanted women to stay home with their children, they'd support funding for family planning so that women can choose to have families when they're in the financial position to be able to stay home with their children. But they don't."

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the death of the album

The REAL Death Of The Music Industry: "Turns out that, somewhat unsurprisingly, the recording industry makes almost all their money from full-length albums:"

Rasmussen twists things - shocker

37% Consider Reagan Most Influential President of the Last 50 Years - Rasmussen Reports™: "A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 37% of American Adults consider Reagan the most influential president in the last 50 years. John F. Kennedy is a distant second with 21%, closely followed by Bill Clinton who earns 19% support. (To see survey question wording, click here.) "

Influential != best.

I wouldn't normally mention this because it is self evident but they also talk about Reagan's numbers "improving".

But yes, keep telling yourself that Rasmussen is an unbiased organization

On Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons: Coffee, Crullers and Canadiana | CBC Archives: "Are the words 'Timbit' and 'double-double' part of your everyday vocabulary? If the answer is yes, you must be Canadian. Despite the fact that it was bought by an American company in 1995, Tim Hortons seems to have injected itself into the centre of our Canadian identity. Started as a small doughnut shop owned by hockey legend Tim Horton, there are now more than 3,000 Tim Hortons locations. From the tragically short life of Horton to the entrenchment of 'Roll Up the Rim' into our collective culture, CBC Digital Archives looks at the evolution of Tim’s."

Problem: Paying off mortgage results in default - Chicago Tribune

Problem: Paying off mortgage results in default - Chicago Tribune: "'They have so insulated themselves that the manager that I spoke to had supposedly no access to a fax machine, no e-mail address that could be accessed from outside of BofA, and you could never reach them directly by phone,' Schweitzer said."