Thursday, April 27, 2017
France’s national rail operator SNCF - which runs its prestigious TGV fast trains - has sparked hilarity, anger and ridicule after building a new generation of regional trains that are too wide for 1,300 stations, meaning platforms will have to be “shaved” to stop them getting stuck.
Missed this somehow.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The ethicists, writing in a paper in the journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy, stressed the “unprecedented opportunities” that would result from the “ubiquitous distribution of cheaper, scalable and easy-to-use neuro-applications” that would make neurotechnology “intricately embedded in our everyday life”.
There's a lot to worry about in the meantime, but go ahead.
Since I started writing about the upsurge in illiberal left-wing thought two years ago, many of the responses have dismissed the phenomenon as the antics of silly college students, or just a series of isolated incidents that keep happening over and over for some reason. In reality, these episodes are the manifestation of a serious ideological challenge to liberalism — less serious than the threat from the right, but equally necessary to defeat.
If you somehow figure that the thuggery is just the natural conclusion of what is known as liberalism these days, this is quite true.
After a lengthy back-and-forth, conservative commentator Ann Coulter's speech scheduled for tomorrow at University of California, Berkeley appears to be off – apparently for multiple reasons.
And there is some dispute about who actually did the cancelling.
Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said in a statement that the campus could not accommodate the speech because the planned venue was deemed inadequately secure by local police, and there was no other venue available where the talk could happen safely.
The university said that it had proposed alternative dates, which Coulter rejected.
"[T]he UC Berkeley administration did not cancel the Coulter event and has never prohibited Ms. Coulter from coming on campus," it said.
Coulter stated on Twitter that Berkeley canceled the speech, adding that she is "so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs." She said, "I'm so sorry Berkeley had a different story every 20 minutes, which always was: No speech."
"No" would require much too bold a stance.
Coulter told the New York Times in an email Wednesday that she was unlikely to give the speech because local law enforcement and the university could not guarantee her safety amid fears of violent protests.
“It’s a sad day for free speech,” she told the paper.
It would have been a blood bath, or at least a blood shower.
Canada has become the surprise No. 1 target in President Trump’s push to get tough on trade.
Fear us, O Canadians! You, with your earmuffs! Your maple syrup! Your lumberjacks! Your swarming over our border with your fishing rods! Your moose! We do not fear your mounted police, however scarlet they may be!
Ending a price in .99 is based on the theory that, because we read from left to right, the first digit of the price resonates with us the most, Hibbett explained. That's why shoppers are more likely to buy a product for $4.99 than an identical one for $5 the item that starts with a 4 just seems like a better deal than the one that starts with 5.
It has always bugged me.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
One promising strategy to overcome the current crisis is to integrate machines and artificial intelligence in the scientific process. Machines have greater memory and higher computational capacity than the human brain. Automation of the scientific process could greatly increase the rate of discovery. It could even begin another scientific revolution. That huge possibility hinges on an equally huge question: Can scientific discovery really be automated?
The typical journalist is likelier to be a Democrat than a Republican, a liberal than a conservative. But his or her approach to doling out attention to folks who could run for office is best summed up by the Andrews Sisters: “Them that has, gets. Them that don’t, wants.”
“The very idea of evidence, and logic, and reason, is being threatened by individuals and interests with the power to do real harm,” declared Cara Santa Maria, host of the Talk Nerdy science podcast. Bill Nye, television’s “Science Guy” and head of The Planetary Society, roused the crowd probably more than anyone. “Today we have a great many lawmakers — not just here, but around the world — who are deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science. Their inclination is misguided. ... Our lawmakers must know and accept that science serves every one of us. Science must shape policy. Science brings out the best in us. With an informed, optimistic view of the future, together, we can — dare I say it — save the world.”
I really don't get what this march is about. Is anybody against science? If what they mean to say is, global warming is going to kill us all, surely (I would say) that is, or ought to be, a matter of controversy. Aren't they the ones who are anti-science, if they're saying, or implying, that the time for discussion is over? I'm no climatologist, but it seems to me that a fair reading of the evidence suggests that debate ought to still be going on, instead of being answered with marchers and placards. What *is* a march for science, anyway, except an effort to stop debate, and therefore science, by intimidation? A march for science is a contradiction in terms.
While many states have become more gun-friendly in recent years – passing laws that allow for open and concealed carry – California has not. In fact, the state has passed a series of laws that have basically made the Golden State the capital of gun control.
Now the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association is firing back.
California emerged from its five-year drought after heavy winter rains filled reservoirs and turned our golden hills green. But don't be fooled by the emerald hues. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) expects wildfires to burn just as fiercely as they did during drought years – if not more so.
But that's not fair!
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter plans to speak on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Thursday, campus officials said, prompting the university to scramble to prepare for what they fear could be another violent showdown between fans and opponents of President Trump.
Coulter is expected to bring her own security for the afternoon appearance, but campus officials — who had urged her to reschedule for a later date — fear that won’t be sufficient.
This is irresponsible on Coulter's part. People will get hurt, but she doesn't care about that. As long as it gets headlines and sells books. Sure, she has a right to speak but she has to foresee what's going to happen.
This time, witches gathered on Saturday in San Diego's Balboa Park to cast a spell on President Donald Trump. Their goal is to see him impeached. They marched in various costumes, including the stereotypical witch costume complete with brooms and witches' hats, chanting, "Trump is a fool, Trump is a clown, we are here to shut him down."
I were marching around in a witch's outfit, I would hesitate to call somebody else a fool, but that's just me.
The Islamic emphasis on modesty and chastity shouldn’t be confused with the Christian standard. Christian sexual ethics are based on respect for women, whereas Islamic sexual ethics are motivated in large part by a disparagement of women.
But other than that, it's fine.
Stone sometimes appears to be in on the joke about his cartoonish cynicism, but there’s a serious message at the core of the film—and in Stone’s return to prominence with Trump. For more than a generation, Republican politicos have worshipped at the altar of Reagan and sought to emulate his optimistic vision for a growing nation. Stone worked for Reagan and offers dutiful praise for him, but it’s clear that Stone’s sentiments are really aligned with a different Republican President. In his heart, Stone is a Richard Nixon man. More to the point, so is Trump.
Oh brother. Nixon is still a devil to conjure with.
Free Speech & Campus Censorship: Congress Must Punish Universities that Give In to the Student Mob | National Review
The courts have failed. The culture is failing. Unless Congress acts, we may lose not only free speech on college campuses, but free speech in America. In the memorable phrase of my friend, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education president Greg Lukianoff, college students are “unlearning liberty,” carrying the virus of censorship and oppression beyond the university and into the nation.
One of modern society’s firmest convictions is that money does, indeed, buy happiness — period, end of discussion.
In her book, "Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors" and in her speaking Thayer Cheatham Willis takes this popular assumption to task, casting a revealing light on the sobering reality that financial wealth can, in fact, possibly be detrimental to one's mental, moral, psychological, and emotional well-being.
More importantly, she details the essential attitudes and behaviors each of us needs to navigate these challenges well and find true happiness.
I bet she's not cheap.
The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too.
The saga of how the Obama administration threw a monkey wrench into its own Justice Department-led counterproliferation effort continues to play out almost entirely out of public view, largely because of the highly secretive nature of the cases and the negotiations that affected them.
That may be about to change, as the Trump administration and both chambers of Congress have pledged to crack down on Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Last Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a government-wide review of U.S. policy toward Iran in the face of “alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilizing more than one country at a time.”
Now, I don’t know if having the President suddenly unleash a hefty tariff on the Canadian lumber market will wind up being the best solution, but let’s not turn a blind eye to the very real underlying problem which is prompting this. If the estimates from the Commerce Department are accurate, Canada is currently subsidizing the sales of more than a half dozen different Canadian lumber companies at rates of anywhere from 12 to 24 percent. As soon as they start doing that, their companies are able to begin selling their products at rates which are significantly below the break even, profitability point without suffering the consequences of doing so which would afflict any company attempting it in a true free market scenario. That means they can undercut American lumber companies, costing us business and jobs.
Monday, April 24, 2017
But a lot of people don’t seem to want to look at Venezuela, because that would be uncomfortable. A few years back, a lot of them were praising Venezuela as a model of socialism, the same way they praise Cuba. Here’s just a small sample: David Sirota in Salon proclaimed Venezuela’s “economic miracle” thanks to Hugo Chavez’s “full-throated advocacy of socialism” and “fundamental critique of neoliberal [i.e., free market] economics.” Left-leaning celebrities traipsed to Caracas to pay their respects. Bernie Sanders declared just a few years ago that “the American dream is more apt to be realized in…Venezuela” than here. He concluded by asking, “Who’s the banana republic now?”
We’re seeing the answer to that. Today, Venezuelans are starving and the remainders of the Chavez regime are sending gangs of armed thugs into the streets to attack anyone who protests. And all of the people who praised the Venezuelan regime as a paragon of socialism? They suddenly don’t want to talk about it.
In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”
In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.
I wonder who their DC law firm was.
1951: When a wave of Chinese soldiers charged his machine gun position, Army Cpl. Hiroshi Miyamura told his crew to cover him as he fixed his bayonet and advanced into the enemy force, killing ten in hand to hand combat and scattering the attackers. Upon returning to his position, Miyamura ordered his men to withdraw as he manned the machine gun and covered their retreat. He killed some 50 communist fighters before running out of ammunition and becoming severely wounded. Miyamura’s position was overrun and he would spend the next 28 months as a prisoner of war. His daring actions made him the first Medal of Honor recipient whose citation was classified “Top Secret” – until his repatriation 28 months later.
1980: Following a string of glitches from missed deadlines to malfunctioning helicopters, a U.S. operation aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran is aborted at a remote staging area – code-named “Desert One” – some 200 miles from Tehran. As the rescue force begins to withdraw, one of the helicopters operating in night black-out conditions accidentally hovers into a C-130 transport aircraft. A terrific explosion follows, killing five U.S. airmen and three Marines.
Though an operational disaster, America’s enemies will be stunned by the fact that such a mission in adverse conditions was nearly carried out so far from American shores. Moreover, the disaster will force military planners to ramp up and retool U.S. special operations forces, establishing a special warfare capability that is today the envy of foreign militaries worldwide.
April 24 (UPI) -- A Texas police department shared photos from the capture of a massive rattlesnake spotted by bird-watchers hanging out next to a "fearless cat."
Photos depict a truly Texas sized snake. I have never seen one so big in the flesh.
Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old political novice whose Sunday electoral triumph advances him to a run-off against Marine Le Pen next month, is married to a woman 24 years his senior — the same age disparity between President Trump and his ex-model wife, Melania.
Macron met Brigitte Trogneux, 64, during the 1990s when she was his high school teacher — then a married mom of three named Brigitte Auzière.
Any male who comments on this can expect push back from the nearest female-identified person or persons, I suspect.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming's milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, a rare, small benefit of climate change, a new study finds.
With less chilly winters, Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent by the end of the century, according to a new study in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Human Behaviour . Places like North Dakota, Minnesota and Maine are likely to see the most dramatic increases, usually the result of more walking.
And this will cause people to be less corpulent, and thus less flatulent, causing there to be less methane emitted. I sense a positive feedback loop.
First revealed way back in 2011, Bridgestone’s airless tires use a series of rigid plastic resin spokes to help a wheel keep its shape as it rolls, instead of an inflatable inner tube that can puncture and leak. Military vehicles and ATVs have been some of the first vehicles to adopt the unorthodox design, but Bridgestone will soon be making a version of its airless tires for use on bicycles.
President Trump's budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, said Friday that the White House is offering Democrats money for key ObamaCare payments in exchange for money to help fund the president's proposed border wall.
Well that sounds pretty stupid. The wall we can do without and the same goes for Obamacare.
By this time, most you are likely aware of how dire the situation in Venezuela has become. Their tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, has reached the point where he recently seized the General Motors plant in his country. Protests against his regime have been boiling over across the country, with an unknown number of the unhappy citizens being killed. In response, Maduro promised to arm up to 400,000 “militia” members to keep them in line. But it might be that he’s beginning to see his control of the situation spinning off past the tipping point. This week Maduro struck a more conciliatory tone and suggested that he might be willing to meet with leaders of the opposition for talks to see if some compromise can be reached. (BBC)
I hope Maduro's punished for the criminal he is.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Early in his career, Teodor Postolache, a psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland, was struck by a peculiar trend that comes up again and again in suicide research. Across decades and in various countries, suicide is much more common in the spring and early summer than other times of year.
Now, Postolache and other researchers believe they have found a curious link between the season and self-harm: pollen-induced allergies.
One wishes to calm these publications: You can stop this now. Haven’t you heard that the great Kong is no more? Nevertheless, they’ve persisted. At great cost: increased Chelsea exposure is tied closely to political despair and, in especially intense cases, the bulk purchasing of MAGA hats. So let’s review: How did Chelsea become such a threat?
It's not God who is behind Chelsea's persistent celebrity.
Friday, April 21, 2017