Links 11/27/15

Links for you. Science:

Gene Amdahl, Pioneer of Mainframe Computing, Dies at 92
Attempt no landing there? Yeah right—we’re going to Europa
Our Generation Ships Will Sink
A Simple Model of the Evolution of Simple Models of Evolution (pdf)
Apocalypse Pig: The Last Antibiotic Begins to Fail


This fight will move to the statehouses
Microaggression and Macroexploitation (interesting history of the word microaggression)
‘You Can’t Buy My Soul’: Drone Whistleblowers Speak Out
Kentucky Governor Beshear hints at executive action on voting rights for non-violent felons
Cuyahoga County: A Case Study for Why We Need to Reinvigorate the Party in Democratic Areas, Too
What Would You Do, Hippie???
Nothing to See Here, Just a Spy Agency Funded by Paranoid Billionaires
Corporate America’s Higher Earnings Due To Stock Buyback Scams
Some Wisconsin Water Is Comparable to a Third World Country (Thanks, Scott Walker)
Dark Secrets In The Classroom (“He needs shoes.”)
The Social Network
Five myths about Metro
Burbsplaining (happens in D.C. too)
Authorities Missed Many ‘Red Flags’ Before Paris Attacks
Brown to invest $100M to address racism
The Museum of Surface Parking
We have the Woodrow Wilson/P.C. debate all backwards: Protesters are forcing a debate Princeton has whitewashed for decades
Thoughts on “Randomized” vs. Randomized Charter School Studies

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Crapification: The National Geographic Edition

Or, more accurately, here’s the latest cover in the Rupert Murdoch era:


Maybe they’ll start running pictures of topless women on page 3?

Posted in Conservatives, The War on Science | 2 Comments

Cruz, Paul, and Rubio Think Making It Easier To Buy a Gun In D.C. Will Make Us Safer

It will probably do wonders for the tourism bidness as well (boldface mine):

The three leading senators pursuing the Republican presidential nomination — Ted Cruz (Tex.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) — have clashed recently on foreign policy and other issues, but they agree on this: Congress needs to wield its constitutional muscle inside the District of Columbia.

Paul on Thursday announced his plans to introduce the “Defend Our Capital Act,” which would end most of D.C.’s strict local gun laws, becoming the last of the three senators to introduce bills this Congress overturning policies implemented by the District’s locally elected officials.

Rubio introduced his “Second Amendment Enforcement Act” in March. Like Paul’s bill, it would eliminate local gun laws, including a gun registration requirement and a ban on assault-type weapons, and pave the way for recognition of out-of-state concealed-carry permits. That same month, Cruz led an effort to overturn one D.C. law that sought to protect employees from employer retaliation over reproductive health decisions and another that prevents religious colleges from banning gay student groups.

It’s annoying when these shitheads fuck around with the Metro (the transit system) or local minor regulations, but this crap is going to get people killed. The overwhelming majority of guns used in D.C. crimes come from out of state: we certainly don’t need to make it easier to buy a gun in D.C. It’s also worth noting that very few guns purchased in D.C. are currently used in crimes outside of D.C. I guarantee once chuckleheads are able to buy ‘local product’, people in other states will start dying from D.C. guns–not just ones purchased by criminals, but guns that are stolen or jacked from law-abiding citizens. Given that the city, compared to the pre-September 11th 2001 era has been turned into an armed camp, it makes no sense from a national security sense to make it easier for someone to buy a gun. One should note that the ‘logic’ of ‘the best way to stop a man with a gun is another man with a gun’ does not apply to the Senate Building, which is a strict gun control zone.

But the key thing is this: the citizens of D.C. have decided, in my opinion for the better, to make it difficult to purchase a gun. Unlike other U.S. citizens, we aren’t allowed to make our own decisions on this issue, whereas Sen. Cruz’s, Paul’s, and Rubio’s states can.

Have no doubt, none of these guys give a damn about the residents here, this is just political hackery:

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the District’s nonvoting member of Congress, said Paul’s bill is particularly “disappointing” because the libertarian-minded senator had previously voiced support for the District’s ability to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And, she said, the bill’s timing is “beyond irresponsible.”

“This one really gets on my nerves, because it comes at a time when there’s been a spike in gun crimes here and across the country … and it occurs after there’s been a specific threat on the capital of the United States,” she said, referring to an Islamic State terror threat.

It’s an obvious ploy to get some attention to his flagging presidential campaign,” she added.

We would like to make our mistakes, not Florida’s, Tennessee’s, and Texas’.

Statehood now (or at the very least, real Congressional and Senate representation).

Posted in BANG! BANG!, Civil Liberties, Conservatives, Fucking Morons | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Links

Gut Yontif! Let’s celebrate with some links. Science:

Evolution Is Finally Winning Out Over Creationism: A majority of young people endorse the scientific explanation of how humans evolved (I think this is a follow-on effect of a shift away from identifying as Christian, not education, but I’ll take it)
The Algorithm That Creates Diets That Work for You
You’ve been doing your RNA-Seq all wrong
Watch the Devil’s Finger Fungus Hatch Like a Xenomorph Egg
Manipulation of the Gut Microbiota Reveals Role in Colon Tumorigenesis (pdf)


More Than 21 Years Later, Washington Faces Another Problem From Hell
The shadows of a new American fascism: Why our surging xenophobia could have some very dangerous consequences
“I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Twenty-five gorgeous but non-famous US train stations
How Bernie Sanders is mainstreaming ‘democratic socialism’
The Mali Hotel Attack Is Not Paris, and That’s on Us
Bernie Sanders is right: The top 0.1 percent have as much as the bottom 90 percent
Democrats Are Taking An Unnecessarily Big Risk With Hillary– And For What?
Over The Past 150 Years, There Has Been A Profound Shift In What Humans Do With Their Time
After Founder Leaves, What’s Next for the Metro Riders’ Union?
Men’s Lib!
Under attack at the Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton plays EVERY POSSIBLE CARD
The TPP and Labor Rights
The free speech/p.c. argument we need to have, and which the right obscures: College kids are not the enemy, corporations and the government are
Bought and Sold by the Nail Salons (ethnic solidarity only goes so far…)
Large Companies Game H-1B Visa Program, Costing the U.S. Jobs

Posted in Lotsa Links | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving

Observed on 16th Street NW, between Corcoran and Q, Dupont Circle, D.C.:


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Remaking Memento?

I’m genuinely confused how this is going to work as a plot:

Memento, Christopher Nolan’s 2000 breakout thriller, is getting remade…

Memento starred Guy Pearce as a man who is tracking down his wife’s killer but suffers from a unique from of memory loss. The movie told part of its story in reverse order while another storyline was chronological. The two met at the end to devastating effect.

Here’s the problem–modern technology shreds the premise:

[Memento] stars Guy Pierce (his breakout role, if memory serves), and is about a man who is unable to form short-term memories, so he has a system of body tattoos, Polaroid pictures (real ones, not Instragram effects), and notes. At the time, it was a brilliant, suspenseful movie as the story continuously changes as Pierce’s character learns more.

But today, you couldn’t make that movie. With an iPhone, which can record video and audio, take pictures, and act as a note pad, it just wouldn’t be that hard to figure out what has happened.

There’s a whole swath of movies that were amazing and today just don’t work, thanks to new communication technologies. Matt Stoller wrote about what The Great Gatsby would be like today, “It would be a one-page story about a guy who made up a bunch of lies about himself, and then someone ran a credit check.”

Curious to see what they end up doing.

Posted in Movies | 3 Comments

Links 11/25/15

Links for you. Science:

A Once Powerful Antibiotic Goes the Way of All Flesh
Did humans approach the southern tip of South America more than 18,000 years ago?
A simple suggestion for Deputy Director for Extramural Research Lauer and CSR Director Nakamura
How Can We Write About Science When People Are Dying?
Forensic Pseudoscience: The Unheralded Crisis of Criminal Justice


Do Charter Schools Cherrypick Students? (similar story in D.C.)
Inside Philly’s substitute teacher crisis: ‘Totally insane, stupid and evil wrapped into one little package’
For New Metro Leader, Long-Term Questions Come With $6 Billion Price Tag (a key point is that trips from the ‘burbs to the city core are up, yet Virginia and Maryland, especially MD, don’t want to pay for it)
D.C. police framed man imprisoned 27 years for 1981 murder, U.S. jury finds
Medicaid: Worst insurance in America? Critics – like Carly Fiorina – who claim Medicaid coverage stinks should talk with parents who’ve actually relied on the program
Hillary Clinton Told Wall Street To ‘Cut It Out’—Not So Much, the Record Shows
The Big Idea That Could Bring Disaffected Voters Back to the Polls: Bernie Sanders has a plan to expand, not “save,” Social Security—and it should be popular.
Walmart Workers On Hunger Strike Confront Clinton Staff At Campaign Headquarters
The Bible Written In New York City Blog Voice
The War on Xenophobia
Chords With Friends: For the past 15 years, The Max Levine Ensemble has been shaping D.C.’s DIY punk scene.
Terrorized by NRA insanity: The GOP’s incoherent and inhumane gun/refugee calculus
Dumb Hicks Are America’s Greatest Threat
The weird economic netherworld of credit cards
Top response to the refugee haters
The Farce Awakens
Stop the bed-wetting over refugees
More unpopular economic opinions
The REALLY ANNOYING Don’t-Wanna-Subsidize-Wealthy-Kids’-College-Tuition Canard
Museum Statement on Syrian Refugees
Woodrow Wilson was extremely racist — even by the standards of his time

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