Saturday, July 12, 2014
This week, scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., noticed an enormous school of anchovies gathering near the coast. Pressed into a huge swarm, an estimated one billion of the tiny fish are taking cues from their neighbors, carefully coordinating their every move.
You know that happy feeling you have when Justin Bieber gets arrested again? Schadenfreude, or joy over another’s misfortune, isn't just for grown-ups. That complicated emotion starts much earlier than expected, when we're barely old enough to point and say, "Ha, Ha!" Children as young as 2 experience a type of schadenfreude, a new study finds.
You can't say the word though.
What's the buzz? Unfortunately, it's flies - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com
Friday, July 11, 2014
Crumbs Bake Shop will be resurrected through a deal with Marcus Lemonis, a local investor and star of CNBC reality show "The Profit" and the owner of Dippin' Dots ice cream, the companies confirmed late Friday.
Those Dippin' Dots things are absolutely vile. How someone could ruin ice cream, I don't know, but this guy figured out how to do it. Of course, people loved it and he got rich. Go figure. I hope he doesn't ruin cupcakes.
British actor Dave Legeno, who played a werewolf villain in the “Harry Potter” movies was found dead in a “remote” part of Death Valley, according to a statement released by the Inyo County Sheriff's Department in California.
Two facts about desert hiking. It's so hot in the summer, you almost certainly should not do it. OK, more than two facts. If you are going to do it, you have to take lots and lots and LOTS of water, so much it will make you consider whether you really want to do it. It is too hot to be comfortable. If you're going to do it, don't do it in the heat of the day. Do it in the heat of the night instead. Hiking in the desert at altitude is even less well advised, as your fluid levels get a double whammy. If you have an urge to do yourself in, almost any other way, with the exception of burning yourself to death, is probably preferable to heat exhausting yourself to death. By all accounts, it is a really horrible way to go. This British guy may have come to Death Valley to kill himself; I don't know. Lots of foreigners do, for some reason. Or he may have just underestimated the difficulties of walking about in July, for heaven's sake, in one of the most inhospitable places in the world. All that said, for brief excursions, the desert is a really, uh, cool place to explore, even in the heat of the day. But you have to be really careful. Thus endeth the lesson of the day.
What about now? Since 1990, it seems that the average song length has sort of stabilized around 250 seconds (over 4 minutes). Maybe that’s because humans prefer 4 minute songs. Clearly there is no technological limit to song length anymore, right?
Hummingbirds interact with the air in a more complex way. Their wings are relatively thin and can’t take advantage of Bernoulli’s principle on their own. But, as their wings move backward and forward to hover, vortices of air form and sort of stick to the leading edge of the wing. The wing and vortices together essentially act like a thicker wing that creates low-pressure lift system like other birds’ wings (panel B in the graphic).
Absurd Creature of the Week: The Feisty Shrimp That Kills With Bullets Made of Bubbles | Science | WIRED
But the greatest real-life gunslingers have to be the pistol shrimp, aka the snapping shrimp, hundreds of species with an enormous claw they use to fire bullets of bubbles at foes, knocking them out cold or even killing them. The resulting sound is an incredible 210 decibels, far louder than an actual gunshot, which averages around 150.
When 86-year-old photographer James Prigoff paused to photograph a natural gas storage tank in Boston 10 years ago, he was simply doing what countless of tourists have done before. The colorful tank, painted with a rainbow-like design, is a popular photo op. He had no reason to suspect his snapshot would prompt an ominous visit by a federal agent months later and the addition of his name to a government database of suspicious activity.
These SARs seem almost ubiquitous.
His move to start a firm while still working with the U.K.-based bank is unusual, underscoring the demand for compliance experts created by the U.S. government's increased scrutiny of the financial-services industry. Many corporate monitors, typically selected as part of white-collar settlements, come from big law or consulting firms. But as his career moves illustrate, Mr. Cherkasky, 64 years old, doesn't hew to the usual playbook.
Two children rescued from hot car in La Mesa - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com
Firefighters responded around 12:30 p.m. to the parking lot of 5500 Grossmont Center Drive after getting a report that the children -- one 4 years old and the other 9 months old -- were locked inside the car, said Sonny Saghera of Heartland Fire & Rescue.
Can you be denied custody on grounds of stupidity? FWIW this is a pretty nice mall, except for the customers.
Santee man, apartment management settle dispute over display of American flag - 10News.com KGTV ABC10 San Diego
This Beautiful World Cup Fan Got a Modeling Gig With L'Oreal After She Was Spotted in the Crowd | E! Online
Seventeen-year-old Axelle Despiegelaere was spotted in the crowd at the Belgium-Russia game on June 22, because camera guys love their game of "spot the hottie." The Internet definitely took notice of the beautiful teen all decked out in Belgium gear and cheering for her team. Turns out, it wasn't just the Internet who was into her.
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Golly. I'm honestly shocked. Presumably though there's a lot of money involved. I thought he looked pretty poor in the Championships however. Not sure which way that cuts.
If Nouri al-Maliki wanted to dissolve the Iraqi union purposefully, he could hardly be doing a better job. While Kurds fight ISIS in the north — and more effectively than Maliki’s politically purged army has — Maliki accused them of being in league with the extremists even as Kurds mull over whether to just go on their own. Now they want Maliki out, or they’ll be leaving for good:
Just guessing on the news coverage, but Maliki seems like a walking turd.
Glen's heart is in the right place. MSNBC doesn't want to talk about Glen, notice. Whether we like it or not, we need to help the kids who are already here and also close the damn border, at least for now. Obama's action, or inaction I should say on this, is beyond cynical. Maybe the House's is too; I don't know. Everybody in Washington should have to spend a week confined to one of those 110 degree hell-holes with no access to takeout from The Palm. The whole thing makes me sick.
It’s a pretty strong suggestion too, and it should give Democrat incumbents in the Senate yet another reason to question Harry Reid’s leadership. The Economist/YouGov partnership conducted two polls on approval levels for the Supreme Court. One was taken from June 28th-30th, ending the same day that the court handed down its Hobby Lobby decision (and Harris v Quinn for that matter), and after its previously-announced decisions the week before, and the other from July 5-7, at the pitch of the hysterical overreaction to the 5-4 Hobby Lobby result. While the media and Democrats seem to believe that the Supreme Court’s credibility would take a beating, the opposite turned out to be true:
This order from a federal judge escalates the stakes significantly in that effort. The AP points out that previous IRS testimony has come under oath, but that was before Congress, and Congress has limited power to hold witnesses accountable without cooperation from the Department of Justice. A federal judge can level contempt charges that can keep uncooperative witnesses in jail, sometimes indefinitely, and perjury in federal court will be a lot more difficult for the DoJ to ignore than perjured testimony before Congress.
Yup. So now maybe we're getting down to it.
But by now, the trend is unmistakable: Millions of people who didn’t have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act have gained it since last fall. The law is not just covering people who already had health coverage, but adding new people to the ranks of the insured — which was the point of the law all along.
Gollum has got the ring and decided to rule the world at least for now.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Not in any direct way. That is, it doesn’t provide an argument for the existence of God. But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or “physicalism”), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today’s world.
The New York Times issued a correction today to fix a demonstrably false editorial that claimed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent “days of near silence” before condemning the murder of Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Netanyahu had, in fact, called the killing an “abominable murder,” and on the day of the killing issued a statement instructing his minister for internal security to investigate the crime. Three Israeli suspects were arrested and have since confessed to the murder.
Even with a correction, the editorial in question was a mess from the top down. The New Republic has a good rundown of other egregious errors and misleading points that won’t be getting much-needed corrections. It’s likely that the editorial page was simply relying on the news side to feed its preconceived biases (though one story had already reported on Netanyahu’s comments), which is a mistake considering the NYT’s reporting exhibits absolutely no journalistic standards when it comes to the topic.
In early June, “CBS This Morning” ran a gushing report, “Born This Way,” on transgender children. Some were as young as 5, and all, encouraged by their parents, were living as the opposite sex. Some, like the 12-year-old boy-to-girl “Zoey,” were taking medication to suppress puberty (“I like the color pink,” Zoey said when asked to explain how she knew for certain she was trapped in the wrong body); others were taking hormones to begin their official physical “transition” to the opposite sex. Meanwhile, “Ryland’s Story,” a parent-created YouTube video, tracks a San Diego girl’s supposedly triumphant transition into a boy at the ripe old age of 5. The video has racked up more than 7 million views—and enthusiastic media applause—since late May.
Obama defends not visiting Texas border, saying he’s ‘not interested in photo ops’ - The Washington Post
White House officials ruled out a visit by the president to the border amid his scheduled stops in Dallas on Wednesday and Austin on Thursday, leading to criticism from lawmakers who also chided him for a series of lighthearted events in Denver on Tuesday night. The president drank beer and shot pool with Colorado’s governor and was photographed shaking hands with a man wearing a horse-head mask. He also spoke about the economy and attended a fundraiser.
Californians first elected Jerry Brown governor in 1974, and the former Jesuit seminarian quickly developed a reputation for fiscal restraint, personal austerity, and futurist tendencies. All three of these traits, which don’t always co-exist easily, came into play with his fascination for high-speed passenger trains.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
In a tough race for re-election, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall chose the benefit of President Barack Obama's fundraising prowess Wednesday over the pleasure of his company.
He could have had both.
But he opted to work in Washington while the president, whose poll ratings hover around 40 percent in Colorado, headlined a fundraiser on his behalf in Denver.
I head to the ER. If I’m lucky, the family will accept the news that, in a time when we can separate conjoined twins and reattach severed limbs, people still wear out and die of old age. If I’m lucky, the family will recognize that their loved one’s life is nearing its end.
The cupcake backlash has been going on for years. In 2013, the The Wire called cupcakes “prissy” and a “widely, vocally despised food.” Going further, a psychotherapist told the Washington Post in 2012 that cupcake lovers are narcissistic. “The popularity of cupcakes directly tracks the rise in cultural narcissism that has resulted from the Internet’s impact on our individual and cultural psyche,” Dr. Paul Hokemeyer said. A Jezebel writer simply wrote: “fuck cupcakes.”
I confess I have never thought before now about the psycho-sexual dynamics of cupcakes. But as to their taste: Oh my God they are tasty. Don't think of them as some sort of cultural statement. Think of them as something to eat. They are round pieces of cake. Cup CAKE. Bad for you, sure. Very bad. But really, really, really good. So, they have to die I guess.
Over three dozen journalist organizations including the Radio Television Digital News Association, National Press Foundation, and the Society of Professional Journalists, have asked the President to drop the "excessive controls" on public information by federal agencies, branding it "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies."
Well that's not good.
WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Refuses To Apologize For Laughing About 12-Year-Old Rape Victim She M…
WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Refuses To Apologize For Laughing About 12-Year-Old Rape Victim She Maligned In Court. The thing is, all the “war on women” talk is aimed at energizing wealthy white women. The rape victim didn’t fit the demographic, so she’s disposable.
As Glenn would say, ouch. GR is getting more ideological, but his zingers are well targeted.
Sex, Politics and Revenge: Lawrence Mitchell Was Supposed to Bring Stability to Case Western Reserve University's Law School, Not Treat It as His Personal Pickup Playground | Features | Cleveland Scene
TaxProf Blog: Case Western and Former Dean Settle Retaliation Claim by Law Prof Over Reporting of Alleged Sexual Harassment of Students and Staff
Following up on my prior posts (links below): the parties have reached a settlement in the lawsuit by Case Western Law Prof Raymond Ku alleging retaliation for reporting alleged sexual harassment of students and staff by former dean Lawrence Mitchell.
Well, I guess those who alleged certain unspecified creepy behavior by a certain person at a certain event were right.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Building an alliance based on honesty and trust, and structuring a clear career progression using successive tours of duty, lets you attract, manage, and retain the entrepreneurial stars you need to transform your company.
I would like to see what the contracts look like. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of Dilbertese.
“My dad said I should come,” said Mr. Robinson, a chemistry and chemical engineering major at the University of Puget Sound. “ ‘Go make history,’ ” he said, quoting his father.
My interest in marijuana was greatly decreased by the realization that its effects, both objective and subjective, were indistinguishable from a temporary reduction, by perhaps 10 to 20 points, or perhaps more, in one's IQ.
Even before David Brat’s out-of-nowhere victory against Eric Cantor last month, there was plenty of skepticism about whether he merited the label of academic economist. Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, is certainly not in danger of winning a Nobel Prize: He writes discursive papers devoid of math; he has cited Wikipedia as a source; and he has never been published in a significant journal. But his big idea — that Protestantism is good for the economy — has a surprisingly distinguished history.
As opposed to Elizabeth Warren, who published a lot and most of it rubbish.
Patricia Sun, the widow of Law Prof Andy Taslitz (American) who died of cancer on February 9, wrote a gripping Facebook post on Thoughts on Work-Life ImBalance From Those Left Behind (excerpted here with a photo of Andy and Patricia, with Patricia's permission):
Yikes. He was about my age. Needless to say, no one will say this about me.
Nozick's experience machine is probably not original. The idea of an illusory reality better than the one we live in was doubtless popular in science fiction before Nozick borrowed the idea in his 1974 book Anarchy, State and Utopia. The popular series Star Trek featured in an episode in 1966 the mentally powerful Talosians, who had lured Captain Pike underground by making him think that his female companion was beautiful and not horribly disfigured. He ends up entering the world of illusion full time, having been injured himself and confined to a high tech wheelchair.
Whether original or not, Nozick's experience machine is supposed to be a knockdown argument against hedonism or other forms of internalist ethics, by which I mean an ethics that says we ought to judge how well our life is going by how it is experienced from the inside. Are we very happy, for instance. Nozick asks us to imagine a machine that gives us the experience of being happy, experiencing pleasure or whatever we wish. We have the experience of reading an interesting book, inventing a great invention, or whatever we please. But we supposedly would not choose this because what we actually want to is to actually experience these things, not experience the illusion of these things.
This seems like a much better argument than it is. It is in fact like an illusion of a good argument. Suppose I want to have the experience of what it is like to really understand higher mathematics. I don't now. But I would like to have that experience. No problem. I am hooked up to the experience machine and crawl into the tank. Is there a difference between understanding math in the tank and not in the tank? It seems not. Perhaps we want to limit what the experience machine can do. But that rather defeats the whole point. It might be that the highest pleasures I can experience in the experience machine are better than the best I can hope for outside of it. Am I not allowed to make this judgment?
Take the more mundane case. I want to spend my life skiing, climbing mountains, and generally adventuring. Instead I am stuck in a dead end job accounting in a widget factory. I get the chance to go into the experience machine. Nozick asks whether what we really want is to really have these experiences, not the illusion of them. That might be. But many people do not have the chance to really experience their, well, dreams. I'm never going to be able to afford the life of an adventurer, and besides, I'm old and tired. I might prefer the experience machine to the constraints of my real life, given that choice. Not everyone is a dazzlingly brilliant and handsome and single professor at Harvard, FFS.
The real point of the experience machine hypothetical is of course that we want the real experience not a facsimile thereof. But wait a moment. Couldn't the experience machine offer lessons that were as good as or even better than real life? Suppose, as the band Switchfoot says, we want more than this world's got to offer? One can imagine an experience machine that put one in a universe with a better moral order than the one we happen to live in, perhaps Tolkein's universe, or Hannah Arendt's for those of you from the Upper West Side. Perhaps a few years in the tank would improve one, like going to a good college, back when that meant something. The experience machine would presumably still instill experience, wouldn't it? You could come out of the tank with the benefit of what you learned in the tank, correct? Or would it be more like Las Vegas?
Who are the Little Sisters of the Poor? They are Catholic nuns, operating as a charitable organization on behalf of their community. The application of the HHS contraception mandate to practicing Catholic nuns who take vows of chastity is one of the biggest absurdities of HHS' mandate enforcement anyway. Obviously, nuns aren't clamoring for free IUDs and Plan B.
The bad news first. The People's Republic of China now believes it can successfully prevent the United States from intervening in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or some other military assault by Beijing.
I worked with a guy who was at one of France's grand ecoles, I forget which one. It had a lot of Chinese students. He said all they talked about was how they were going to get superior to the US in military force and defeat us. That's worrisome.
It's certainly in part a political decision, one meant to avoid taking ownership of a difficult issue on which the White House would prefer to share blame. But it's also one that will inflame Obama's critics on both the right and left who say the administration has been too passive in response to the thousands of young border-crossers swamping U.S. detention facilities.
The study revealed that in the past 20 years there have been sharp decrease in physical exercise and increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady, so investigators have theorized that a nationwide drop in leisure-time physical activity, especially among young women, might be responsible for the upward trends in obesity rates.
He later became known as Brother Roy, as he followed a call to religious service with The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to the society's "Rule of Life," members of the monastic order take "lifelong vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience in an enduring fellowship."
There is a God and he has a sense of humor.
"I didn't do excavation, just archaeological soundings the villagers uncovered these materials accidentally," said Dlshad Marf Zamua, a doctoral student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who began the fieldwork in 2005. The column bases were found in a single village while the other finds, including a bronze statuette of a wild goat, were found in a broad area south of where the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey intersect. [See Photos of the Life-Size Statues & Other Discoveries in Iraq]