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May 29, 2015

"These 15 Isolated Tracks from Famous Songs Will Blow Your Mind"

I can't say they "blew my mind," but your mileage may vary and they were interesting.

"What Just-Completed NFL Draft Tells Us About 2015 College Football Season"

Supposedly, we've seen peak SEC.

"People are calling an insane rally at the Table Tennis World Championships the 'point of the century'"

Pretty cool.

Related: "Ping Pong Is Dead, Long Live Ping Pong".

May 28, 2015

"Study aims to uncover why cancer plagues golden retrievers"

Very sad. I hope they figure it out ASAP.

The vets haven't learned enough yet to improve or prolong the retrievers' lives, but key factors could lie anywhere, said Dr. Michael Lappin, who has 19 patients from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, in the study. When he graduated from veterinary school in 1972, golden retrievers lived 16 or 17 years. Today, it's nine or 10 years.

"Take the test: Could you get a job at Google?"

Not really a "test". More of a flowchart with questions.

"Diane Keaton: 'I Don't Agree There's a Lack of Female Roles"

This needed to be said. Good for her.

"I was lucky," she says. Keaton made a name for herself during a decade of great '70s comedies and dramas. Are today's young actresses, all coming of age in the superhero era, less fortunate? "No! Not at all! Are you kidding?" she bursts. "I don't agree that there's a lack of female roles. To me, it just seems as if everything's expanding and there are many more opportunities. When you consider everything that's happened with television, YouTube, social media, all the different ways that stories are being told — no, I think if anything, it's a much better time. Everybody should be taking advantage of it!

"The true cost of living in San Francisco"

Short version: high. Very high

May 27, 2015

"Those Annoying, Stunningly Stupid Warning Labels"

I agree completely.

The warning labels and messages are everywhere: on ladders, cigarettes, and lawnmowers, on prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages. Most of these warnings are expected. We hardly recognize them any more. We’ve become jaded and mesmerized by them.

Manufacturers go to laughable lengths to protect their customers from harm, bombarding them with ridiculous warning labels or stunningly obvious explanations of how their products work. Why else would a carton of eggsactually say that the product may contain eggs?

Two on cars

"Lewis Hamilton's Pole Lap Shows Just How Insane Monaco Is". He didn't win, but this brief video from his vantage point is interesting.

"The 10 most beautiful cars money can buy". Except for the F-Type, they don't interest me, but your mileage may vary.

"Reforms aimed at fighting grade inflation are falling short"

Discouraging.

"Why America fell out of love with golf"

Rosie O'Donnell had a clue: "Golf is not a sport. Golf is men in ugly pants, walking."

And there's Winston Churchill: "Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose."

May 26, 2015

"GDP Now"

The Atlanta Fed's model currently predicts second quarter GDP growth far differently from most forecasters. They predict it will be weak--under 1%. (Recall that they nailed the first quarter.)

"The New Bee Crisis Is Just Like The Old One: Phony"

Henry I. Miller, Forbes:

Never let a good crisis go to waste, Rahm Emanuel famously said.  But what do you do if the “crisis” turns out to be a dud?  Easy–invent a new one.

That’s what we’re seeing currently in Washington and Brussels, where government regulators, deprived of one environmental calamity–by, of all things, data–are scrambling for a new narrative.

"Why conservatives give better commencement speeches than liberals"

In the Washington Post, no less.

Before you picket, protest, sit-in or safe-space your way out of listening to a conservative commencement speaker this college graduation season, I need to let you in on a secret:

Conservatives give better commencement addresses than liberals.

"Why Does the Left Kowtow to Islam?"

Good question, answered really well by Robert Tracinski.

The point is that the left doesn’t kowtow to Islam because they actually love Islam, but rather because they hate our own culture. They have been steeped in a narrative about how American and Western culture is racist and “imperialist,” and they’ve been trained to see anyone with a dark complexion and a non-Western origin as the victim of our crimes. When they see criticism of Islam, or deliberate attempts to defy Islam, they filter it through that narrative. They see it as: there go those bigoted right-wing Christians, demeaning dark-skinned foreigners again. So they reflexively oppose it.

"Blue-State Infrastructure"

Excellent question: how's the infrastructure doing in the Democratic Republic of California? (Hint: not good.)

"Breakthrough: A Top 50 MBA For $20,000"

This sounds quite promising.

May 25, 2015

"Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry rips ‘manufactured consensus’ – Human influence is NOT ‘dominant over natural climate variability’"

I especially like this bit:

[If you have seen] the collapse of the consensus on cholesterol and heart disease– that one collapsed overnight. I can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail with the climate problem as well.

"DC charter school putting students on path to excel"

Nice story about my older daughter's soon-to-be-former employer.

A follow-up interview with one of the school's current eighth-graders and future President of the United States.

"When Congress 'Reins In' Lawyers, Lawyers Always Win"

Funny how that works.

"Van Nuys couple's $51,649.32 DWP horror story"

Add this to the "Government is the name we give to the things we together"--Ha!--file.

"25 Years Of Predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’"

I had wondered about this: every few months we hear that "If don't do something really soon, global warming will be awful and irreversible." This is a useful history of these predictions.

"IRS Scandal: I was targeted and I've got proof it was a Democratically-led conspiracy"

If true, this is quite bad.

Related: "America’s Politicized Tax Enforcement Is a Harbinger of Decline".

May 24, 2015

"A Memorial Weekend Review for Election 2016"

Roger L. Simon. I think he's a bit too pessimistic.

But not much.

And speaking of time flying, what I would love to see from the Republican candidates is some specific, real detail on how they intend to deal with this global conflagration that seems to be spreading faster than pancreatic cancer. I know Rubio and Graham have said some things, maybe a few others, but we are in an immensely difficult situation.  It deserves serious discussion this Memorial Day weekend and in the days following like nothing I can think of.

By the way, I am completely uninterested in what the Democrats have to say about this.  Listening to Bernie Sanders discussing national security is like listening to Kim Kardashian discuss Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.  As for Hillary Clinton, I don’t want to hear anything about anything ever again from that congenital liar except three simple English words,  ”Guilty, your Honor.”

"3 Stupid Ideas That Made People Millionaires"

Isn't capitalism grand?

One of the most inspiring (or annoying) moments in life is when you hear these kinds of stories: people who come up with incredibly stupid ideas and achieve the unlikely—becoming millionaires. 

"A Non-Comprehensive List Of Celebrities Who Self-Identify As Nerds"

Longer than I would have guessed.

May 23, 2015

"Films Focused on Education Reform"

A list of movies that could well offer hope to those who worry about the current state of our K-12 schools.

I've only seen The New Public, which I liked. My family has also seen Waiting for Superman, which they liked.

I look forward to seeing If You Build It, which will be available from Amazon in June.

"How To Grow Your Own Tomatoes, Anywhere"

I agree with the author about the poor state of mass-produced supermarket tomatoes--heirloom tomatoes are better but quite pricey--so this might be worth trying

This isn’t about sustainability or going off-grid or striking back at The Man. This is about wanting a goddamn BLT and knowing, just knowing, that every tomato at the grocery store, no matter how shiny and heavy and beautifully red, is going to be a mealy, watery, flavorless piece of crap.

May 22, 2015

"The Strange Story of Bob Dylan’s Triumphant First Letterman Performance"

Featuring a brief discussion of Dylan's affection for punk and a ringing, rocking performance of "Jokerman". (What the lyrics might mean.)

More good Letterman: "David Letterman retires: His most notable interviews". This is a fine selection including two at the peak of his form, with Cher and Madonna. (How Madonna thought she would be able to mess with Dave, especially in his building with his people, is beyond my meager power to understand.)

"Data Faked In Study About Gay People Changing Voters’ Minds"

The study was published in Science, so this is a big deal: "A researcher apparently made up the results of the much-publicized study, as revealed Tuesday by scientists trying to replicate it."

Related: "As A Major Retraction Shows, We’re All Vulnerable To Faked Data". (As the old joke goes, "Who's we, kimo sabe?")

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