Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daniel Henry must have been watching different coverage of the Casey Anthony trial than we were

Time for more transparency in Canada's courtrooms - Canada - CBC News:
"Compare our system's transparency with that of Florida, where the televised murder trial of Casey Anthony, a young, single mom accused of killing her two-year-old daughter, just concluded after six weeks of testimony that riveted Americans and Canadians alike.

The jury's not-guilty verdicts surprised prosecutors and many others. But everyone praised the fairness of the judge and respected the process. Wide access to information has facilitated a relatively informed public debate about what went on in that trial."
Tell you what, You can have Nancy Grace and we will call it even.

Germany Beaten By Japan in Women's World Cup

Japan upset champions Germany - Football - Al Jazeera English:
"Hosts and defending champions Germany were knocked out of the women's World Cup on Saturday as they were beaten 1-0 by Japan after extra-time in the quarter-finals."

Stem Cell Tracheal Implant

Cancer patient gets a new trachea grown from his own stem cells | DVICE:
"Doctors created the trachea by first building a scaffold in the shape of his own diseased trachea, based on measurements taken from CAT scan images. Then they put the completed form in device called an InBreath Bioreactor, and bathed it in a solution that included stem cells taken from the patient's own bone marrow. Two weeks later, the cells had multiplied and the trachea was fully formed, ready for implantation."

Facundo Cabral Murdered

Argentine folk star shot dead in Guatemala - Americas - Al Jazeera English:
"Argentine singer Facundo Cabral, a legend of Latin American folk music, has been shot dead in Guatemala City when unidentified gunmen riddled his car with bullets, authorities said.

Cabral, 74, and his driver were killed in the Guatemalan capital on their way to the airport at around 5am on Saturday, and at least one other person was seriously injured in the attack, police said. The shooting happened after Cabral finished performing a musical tour in the central American country."

On The Keebler Effect

I thought Iceland was more rational than this : Pharyngula:
"Some people pointed the finger of blame on angry elves who had finally snapped. The dynamiting for the town's new avalanche defence barrier comes less than a year after a new road tunnel through the Oshlid hill was completed — neither of which with the prior blessing of the hidden people."

Cracked on Being Poor In America

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor |
"Being poor is like a game of poker where if you lose, the other players get to fuck you. And if you win, the dealer fucks you."

Luboš Motl might not be a dishonest hack

The Reference Frame: Climate "scientists": 95 percent of people fry to death at 20 °C:
"However, if the planet were warmer by 5 °C, just imagine this nonsense for the sake of it, we could notice the difference but we would surely see no substantial death rate. In fact, that's about the point at which the warm-weather-related deaths would match the cold-weather-related deaths. At this point, the number of temperature-related deaths would probably be minimized. That's not a shocking insight - after all, 20 °C is the temperature we like in our living rooms - I actually favor 23 °C but it is not far - so if this is also chosen to be the global mean temperature, the planet will surely become more comfortable than it is now."

But seeing as he does have a PhD in physics I cannot write this sort of idiocy off to him being stupid or not understanding how statistical distributions work.

On Nova Scotia's Failed Immigration Program

Province to pay $30M to hundreds of immigrants - Nova Scotia - CBC News:
"This province couldn't organize a rum drinking contest at a Legion."

On Hangovers

HowStuffWorks "How Hangovers Work":
"It's no secret that intoxication has a number of immediate negative consequences. Among other things, it impairs judgment, it impairs the ability to do most things and it can bring on a depressed mood. But even after a drinker has sobered up, alcohol can still be causing the body trouble. More than 75 percent of alcohol consumers have experienced a hangover at least once; 15 percent have one at least every month; and 25 percent of college students feel symptoms weekly."

Comment of the day - Balloon Juice Edition

Balloon Juice » Why We Can’t Win Any Messaging Battles:
"the real lesson here is that Twitter is a fucking waste of electricity"

Because I love Rollercoasters and Physics

Physics Buzz: The Physics of Six Flags:
"This Wednesday, we had a small committee meeting at Six Flags America in southern Maryland. The meeting agenda included a break in the afternoon to do some 'classical mechanics research' (including pulling 3 Gs on a roller coaster) which I now present to you!"

LinkedIn vs Facebook vs Twitter

I find it strangely satisfying that I have more connections on LinkedIn than friends on Facebook. I am not so sure about having more Twitter followers than both of those numbers combined.

Greg Mankiw Gives The Game Away

Greg Mankiw's Blog:
"My advice: Amend your line in the sand to NO INCREASES IN TAX RATES. Be willing to give up on tax expenditures if we simultaneously make current tax rates permanent--or, better yet, if we lower rates, as the Bowles-Simpson commission suggested.

Addendum: A phase-out of deductions for high-income taxpayers would count as an increase in tax rates, as the Wall Street Journal notes today on its editorial page."

I have not edited the text. Those really are consecutive paragraphs.

Financial Engineering Will Not Save Greece

Satyajit Das: Bailing In to Bail Out – The Greek Bank Debt Exchange Proposal « naked capitalism:
"The French proposal perpetuates the lack of acknowledgment that Greece has a “solvency” rather than a “liquidity” problem. Like the EFSF whose structure has been criticised as nothing more than a collateralised debt obligation (“CDO”), it uses financial engineering techniques to defer or disguise losses in an unending game of “extend and pretend”."

On Documenting The Atrocities

Balloon Juice » Taking the Battle to the Enemy’s Territory:
"I’m sure all the right-minded Centrist goo-goos will hastily draw the skirts of their togas aside from the contamination of such low political activism, and David Brooks will press the back of his lily-white hand to his brow as he laments the coarsening of our political discourse on the Sunday talking-heads shows. But here in the real world we’re stuck combatting an opposition that bases half of its electoral strategy on lying, denying, and fakery—we need to start documenting Republican dishonesty in formats where their perfidity can be explained, with short words and vivid pictures, within the severely limited attention span of the average low-information voter."

On Maids

Singapore government urged to give maids the day off | World news | The Guardian:
"'Unlike more liberal countries where your rights are protected by law, here it all comes down to the personal goodwill of the employer, he said. 'Many think, 'I already pay so much for her, I don't want to let her out of the house where she might find a boyfriend, get pregnant and make me lose my security bond.''"

Rebekah Brooks has pics of James Murdoch Fucking Goats

That is the only thing I can think of that would explain this steam pile of bullshit.

I thought he said DUDES

BBC - Earth News - Male-producing worm sperm are 'paralysed':
"Experiments on tiny nematode worms have revealed why some creatures produce far more female than male offspring.
Male-producing sperm in this Rhabditis nematode worm are what the researchers described as 'duds'.
These sperm are paralysed - unable to move and therefore unable to to fertilise eggs.
Producing an 'excess' of daughters enables these humble, very short-lived creatures to rapidly produce large numbers of offspring."

Yao Ming Retires

BBC News - China's Yao Ming 'to retire from US basketball':
"Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming, who plays for the US's Houston Rockets team, has told the National Basketball Association (NBA) he will retire from the game, American media report.

The 7ft 6in (2.3m) giant's career with the Rockets had been plagued by an assortment of injuries, most recently a stress fracture in his left"

Malaysia too?

Malaysia cracks down on protesters - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English:
"The activists' demands include an overhaul of voter registration lists, tougher measures to curb fraud and fairer opportunities for opposition politicians to campaign in government-linked media.

A general election is not due until 2013 but Najib Razak, the prime minister, has not ruled out early polls, after economic growth accelerated to a 10-year high in 2010.

Major street demonstrations are rare in this Southeast Asian country, but the rise of alternative media channels and a growing opposition voice are gradually creating a more vocal Malaysian public"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My New Favorite Pseudo-Science Site

Galileo Was Wrong: Summary:
"Galileo Was Wrong is a detailed and comprehensive treatment of the scientific evidence supporting Geocentrism, the academic belief that the Earth is immobile in the center of the universe. Garnering scientific information from physics, astrophysics, astronomy and other sciences, Galileo Was Wrong shows that the debate between Galileo and the Catholic Church was much more than a difference of opinion about the interpretation of Scripture."
And yes, you did read that right.

Things I am tired of - Primary Obama

I mean really. Is this the fight that folks of my political stripe (here is a hint I am NOT a conservative) really want? Does any sane person really think that there is any good to come from a left of center primary challenge to this President?

Focus people. Bachmann/Perry 2012 should be your worst fucking nightmare yet you are seemingly willing, even eager, to bring it to pass. What the fuck are you thinking?


On How Clueless Richard Dawkins Can Be

Richard Dawkins and male privilege | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine:

"Over the weekend, a full-blown scandal erupted in the skeptical movement atheist and skeptical communities* over sexism and attitudes about sexual harassment. It started with a fairly straightforward story about a clueless man putting a woman in an uncomfortable situation. The conversation about it was interesting, to say the least. An important point that came up multiple times is that many men do not truly understand what women go through in such situations.
This point was driven home when Richard Dawkins spoke up about it. Through his own words, he proved quite clearly that a lot of men just don’t get it."
I am baffled at the number of men that really don't get this. No one is saying that all men are rapists. What is being said is that the incredibly dismissive attitude towards a woman's justifiable "this was something creepy to do, so don't do it" statement is dumber than dogshit.

Dawkins really comes off as hopelessly entitled in his 3 comments at PZ's place.

I am also saddened that in the comments to this article there are still a not insignificant number of guys that are being either willfully ignorant or are just folks that I wouldn't want dating my sister because they are such assholes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Phoenix Dust Storm Video

The Phoenix Haboob of July 5th, 2011 from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.


Because I like math

Identifying Tensor Fields « The Unapologetic Mathematician: "

Just as for vector fields, we need a good condition to identify tensor fields in the wild.

Ben Nelson May not be a vacuous fool

"Sen. Ben Nelson, one of the more conservative Democrats in the chamber, has said that a deficit-reduction deal should focus on reducing spending, and not finding new revenues.

The Nebraska Democrat also said in a Wednesday statement that he thought a significant plan to roll back deficits would not necessarily have to take aim at entitlement programs.

“I want to see a broad and serious package of spending cuts,” Nelson said. “And we can cut trillions of dollars of spending without attacking Medicare and Social Security. But if we start with plans to raise taxes, pretty soon spending cuts will fall by the wayside.”"

But this is precisely the kind of thing that one would say.

Bing Sucks Balls


On E-Verify

Daily Kos: E-Verify: Lamar Smith's fact-free defense:
"A week ago I wrote in The Hill about Georgia's failed e-verify experiment, with hundreds of millions of crops rotting in the fields because farmers can't get enough workers to harvest them. In fact, the situation is so dire that the state has even tried to get criminal probationers to fill the gap left by thousands of undocumented workers, all to no avail."
E-Verify is a mess if my experience with it is any indication. I am a Canadian citizen who works in the US under the auspices of NAFTA on a so-called TN-1 visa. It isn't really a visa but that is another matter, the effect is the same as if it was. I have been through e-verify twice and twice was incorrectly listed as NOT being legal to work in the US. Each time is was something that was very easy to clear up (because I know the kinds of errors that are likely) but it did not exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling about e-verify. Relying on it is stupid. Period.

John Cole on Republicans

Balloon Juice » Pretty Much This:
"And anyone who still calls themselves a Republican is just an asshole. Really, you’ve had ample time to figure out your party is run by maniacs. If you’re still sticking around because the “Democrats are worse” or you think the party can turn it around or because you fancy yourself a small “c” conservative or you are a glibertarian or because you hate taxes or you think Dennis Kucinich is weird (he is), you’re just an asshole. And incredibly stupid."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

Harvey And Glenn: Don't Hire Gays! | Right Wing Watch:
"Glenn: What ridiculous folly to suggest that only those individuals who engage in homosexual behavior given all of its severe medical consequences constitute the best and the brightest. It’s not really bright to engage in behavior that puts you at dramatically higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse and AIDS and cancer and hepatitis, and according to various sources, premature death. So to suggest that engaging in that type of behavior defines someone as the best and brightest, which seems to be the line coming out of corporate America, is just ridiculous."

Stupid Politician tricks - Disaster Reconstruction Minister Edition

Japanese minister quits over gaffe - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English:
"A week into his new job, Japan's disaster reconstruction minister has resigned.

Ryu Matsumoto's resignation on Tuesday came after his conduct during a visit to the tsunami-devastated northeastern coast over the weekend angered local residents and political opponents.

During the visit, he had refused to shake a governor's hand, scolded him and threatened to withhold aid.

He told the governor of Iwate, one of the hardest-hit prefectures, that the government would not help municipalities that did not have good ideas about rebuilding.

Matsumoto expressed irritation for being made to wait by Myagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai. Then Matsumoto refused to shake Murai's hand when he entered the room and scolded the visibly surprised governor.

'When a guest comes to visit, do not call up the guest until you have arrived in the room,' he told Murai. 'Do you understand?'

He then warned journalists in the room not to report his words. They were widely reported in the media, and a video of the exchange was posted on the internet."

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Fetish For the Fourth

I find this incredibly creepy and strange.

A Fourth of July Seder - Dennis Prager - National Review Online:
"I now present a simple ten-minute ceremony that every American can easily use on July Fourth. It is a product of the Internet-based Prager University that I founded nearly two years ago. We call it the Fourth of July Declaration and here it is. (A paginated and printable version can be downloaded here.)"

Something different ... Don't vote for me

Waycobah chief not for me: candidate - Nova Scotia - CBC News:
"Allison Bernard Jr. is urging First Nation voters in Waycobah not to vote for him for chief.
Bernard, a former band councillor in Eskasoni, was nominated for chief of Wacobah, even though he's not a Wacobah band member."

ACLU & Elon James White: Just Say NO to the War On Drugs

On The Gay Disease

I know! How about if we redefine homophobia as a disease? : Pharyngula: "For the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, men having sex with men (MSMs) is not only 'unnatural' but also a 'disease.'

According to Azad, 'this disease has come to India from foreign shores', and Indian society needs to be prepared to face it. Unfortunately, he said, the number of 'such people' is increasing by the day."

Michele Bachmann might not be a dangerous religious loon

Bachmann At Iowa Church: 'Turn Away From Our Wicked Ways' And God Will 'Heal Our Land' | TPMDC:
"'We too are at a crucial time today,' said Bachmann. 'And I think it is for us to remember, that if we do as Chronicles tells us, if we humble ourselves, and pray and confess our sins, and turn away from our wicked ways, and ask an almighty God to come and protect us and fight the battle for us, we know from his word, his promise is sure. He will come. He will heal our land. And we will have a new day.'"

What am I saying? Of course she is. This is dangerous talk and should be the kind of thing that is disqualifying for someone that wants to be President of the US.

What July 4 Is For

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
— John Hancock
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Thanks to Ezra Klein for the idea

Rand Paul May not want to blow up the economy

Rand Paul promises to filibuster everything over debt ceiling | Video Cafe:
"'So I'm part of the freshman group in the Senate that's saying, 'no more.' We're not going to let them go to any issue if we have a say in it. We will filibuster until we talk about the debt ceiling, until we talk about proposals, and many of us in the conservative wing are going to present our own proposal next week. And that is to raise the debt ceiling. We will actually vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling next week if we can but it will be contingent upon passing a balanced budget amendment.'"
But he sure does sound like that is his goal. For anyone that needs more proof that a balanced budget amendment is a shitty idea they need to look no farther than California and the requirement for a supermajority to raise taxes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Because Fireworks are very cool

On Wifi in a cafe

STFU. I Bought Some Dang Coffee, and I'm Never Leaving This Café:
"Once I've spent $15 or more at a cafe, I can reasonably expect that the owners have made a $10 profit. That is about what I'd pay for 24 hours of Internet access many places, so I feel like I'm good. I've paid for my Wi-Fi, and I'm not leaving."

When Quadrotors go wrong

Stephen Sweeney on Chris Christie

Sweeney has strong words for Christie |
"“He’s mean-spirited,” Sweeney said in the Friday interview. “He’s angry. If you don’t do what he says, I liken it to being spoiled, I’m going to get my way, or else.”
And: “He’s a rotten prick.”"