Links 12/5/12

Links for you. Science:

Pretty much everything you eat is associated with cancer. Don’t worry about it. (paper here)
Twisted tree of life award #14: @nytimes and Nathaniel Rich on Immortal Jellyfish
Best named acid ever
Why you can all stop saying meat eating fueled evolution of larger brains right now
People not Projects: the Moore Foundation continues to revolutionize marine microbiology w/ its Investigator program

Other:

Racism, homophobia, and how I lost my dad last week (must-read)

Bob Costas: Speaking Truth Where It Matters
(not the biggest Costas fan by a long shot, but it took guts to say this)
Slavery Is A Love Song
Operation Rolling Tantrum
Virginia Commonwealth University volleyball coach: I was fired for being gay
Screw Ross Douthat telling me and you to have more children
Beats telling people that you’re Jewish
Why Sheldon Adelson Spent $150 Million On the 2012 Election
Beached by Sandy
The Balanced Rock Sculptures of Michael Grab Rely Solely on Gravity (I can’t even do Jenga well…)
A “Bar” Exam for Teachers? (it’s worth noting, however, that teachers already have to take proficiency exams)
“The young will pay more and get less.” More Nonsense from Robert Samuelson

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2 Responses to Links 12/5/12

  1. Zachary Smith says:

    *** Twisted tree of life award #14: @nytimes and Nathaniel Rich on Immortal Jellyfish ***

    So Nathaniel Rich is Frank Rich’s kid. That explains a lot.

    *** Why you can all stop saying meat eating fueled evolution of larger brains right now ***

    Another “Nathaniel Rich” clone here, only this fellow got his BA in English. Oh, he went on to get an MS in Human Nutrition, but thinks all that gives him leave to comment on Human Evolution in an authoritative manner. He quotes Richard Wrangham, and even links to his book “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” at Amazon, but it’s clear to me he didn’t read it. Or if he did, did NOT understand it. What I saw in Despain’s essay was incoherent nonsense.

    *** Pretty much everything you eat is associated with cancer. Don’t worry about it. ***

    Infuriating stuff here. The abstract was all I could read without reaching for the credit card, and IT was chock full of weasel words. Nothing I saw was actually untrue, but the authors left the impression that scientists publish nothing except contradictory things, so obviously a person can’t trust any of them. This mindset clears the way for propagandists who want to peddle the harmlessness of fracking chemicals, primary and second-hand smoke, and of course climate change. Some Say This, but Others Say That… so just don’t worry your pretty little head about anything the eggheads say. The authors of the study ought to be ashamed of themselves, but I’ll bet they’re preening….

    *** Slavery Is A Love Song ***

    “So what? Really – so what?” People who write that sort of thing are usually swine, so when I examined Mr. Post’s essays I was surprised that he doesn’t make a habit of being such an obnoxious ass. So I’ll predict that one of these days he’s going to feel some genuine grief for this.

    Speaking of obnoxious asses though, that was – in my humble opinion – the essence of Thomas Jefferson. Oh, he wrote pretty phrases, but the man was an arrogant *****. So using the term ***** as a keyword, I uncovered another non-fan of the third US president.

    “An American saint, you cry? **** that. This devious, power-hungry hypocrite used every bit of power at his disposal to undermine the federal government at a time when our very existence was in doubt. Too cowardly to speak for himself, he used other prominent figures to spread lies, gossip, and hateful prose to a gullible public. Most importantly, his vision of an “agrarian utopia” would have sent the United States careening into the pits of disaster. Provincial, racist, and arguably the father of the horrific states’ rights doctrine, TJ helped design the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, two little gems that would have rendered the Constitution useless and broken the back of the rule of law. Everything progressive, dominant, successful, and inspiring about America met with his opposition; and his romanticization of the Southern planter (and slaveholding) class helped create a monster that lives with us to this day.”

    Obviously opinions will vary, but this fellow also saw ‘cowardice’ in T. J.

    Something about Jefferson I’d almost forgotten until lately was his creation of The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Yes, T.J. knew Jesus, for his Superior Whiteness allowed him to engage in mindreading dating back 1800 years. So he took a few bibles and some scissors and went to work.

    *** Raised Episcopalian, Jefferson believed that the New Testament had been polluted by early Christians eager to make Christianity palatable to pagans. He believed that they had mixed the words of Jesus with the teaschings of Plato and the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The authentic words of Jesus were still there, he assured his friend, John Adams. He determined to extract the “authentic” words of Jesus from the rubble which he believed surrounded His real words. That book, intended as a primer for the Indians on Christ’s teachings, is commonly known as the “Jefferson Bible.”

    Written in the front of his personal Bible, he wrote:

    “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator.” ***

    And I have little doubt “our whole country” didn’t include the subhuman darkies.

    For me, Thomas Jefferson is one of those arrogant Good Christians immortalized in the Devil’s Dictionary.

    “CHRISTIAN noun. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”

  2. Zachary Smith says:

    *** Operation Rolling Tantrum ***

    Now for a prediction I hope won’t come true: If BHO doesn’t surrender to the Republicans right off the bat – and I think he just might – then he will positively WELCOME future tantrums. Those ‘hostage’ situations are as helpful to him as they are to the Tea Baggers fruitcakes. IMO he wants a drastic reshaping of both Medicare and Social Security as part of his Legacy.

    And in order to feign helplessness in the face of the awful threats to derail the nation, he has precisely zero interest in getting any more Democrats into the House or Senate. I just made a lookup of his state trips for the election in 2012, and found he didn’t go try to help Elizabeth Warren – not even once. Scott Brown was A-OK with him.

    And a current story in Google News is how the Democratic Party is requesting Obama’s enormous database to help them with their campaigns. Guess who is saying NO? Obama wants those changes in the Grand Bargain – he’s offered to sell oldsters and poor folk down the river in earlier negotiations, and the Tea Baggers were too stupid to say YES!

    Last thing BHO needs is some potential NO votes from Democrats who might actually try to help the people who elected them.

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