TG’s Political Wire: Reagan’s Speeches Analyzed for Dementia.
“The findings [snip] do not prove that Mr. Reagan exhibited signs of dementia that would have adversely affected his judgment and ability to make decisions in office.” Um ... if you lived through the era, you’d know that’s not exactly true. We knew he was impaired in 1980; no media sources wanted to touch it at the time. If you remember the veritable ‘cuckoo klatsches’ he called press conferences, you’ll know what I mean [how many clarifications they had to make, every time he began to ‘wing it’]. Only when Mondale ran up against him in ‘84, did the wall of silence begin to crack.
I had a dream the other day: A prominent Democrat comes out with Reagan’s exact 1980 platform. The Right vilifies her/him as a “liberal”. The candidate reveals who authored the platform, and then offers to switch parties if folks will vote for her/him, appealing directly to the people. Kinda entertaining.
Josh Mitteldorf: Fertility is Kaput, but Life Goes On.
“An infertile, older population acts as a kind of buffer during times when the population might otherwise be expanding too fast. When there is plenty of food, the post-reproductive segment eats some of it, but they do not add to population growth in the next generation. Then, when times become more difficult and food is scarce, the older, weaker segment of the population is the first to die off, and this is no real loss to the population’s reproductive potential.” Quite interesting; do add it to this week’s reading list.
Fuel Fix: Oil workers in West Texas and New Mexico were underpaid millions, Labor Department says.
“Among the problems found, employers were failing to include bonus payments when calculating overtime rates, weren’t paying for time spent working off-the-clock and paying flat rates despite the hours worked by employees. There were also instances of workers being misclassified as independent contractors.” Check out image #5, in the bottom gallery. Also, no word in this article about the workers getting their owed $$.
KOB: Amtrak says Southwest Chief’s New Mexico routes to remain.
“The announcement ends more than two years of fear and uncertainty in Northern New Mexico’s smaller communities about whether Amtrak would alter the route.” But for how long, unless we infuse some money into infrastructure repairs ... ?
Star Telegram: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found downwind from feedlots.
“For years, scientists have known that people can contract antibiotic-resistant bacteria by consuming contaminated meat or water. Smith and Mayer’s findings indicate that humans could also be exposed to ‘super bugs’ or ‘super bacteria’ traveling through the air.” Close your windows, turn on that A/C, when you drive by feedlots.
Guardian.UK: World’s largest aircraft looking for investors to give it liftoff.
“People say, God, the Hindenburg [the German hydrogen-filled airship that crashed in flames in 1937]. But on this, you are flying the world’s biggest fire extinguisher.”
c|net: Driver follows GPS off disused bridge, and wife dies, police say.
I assume self-driving cars will have failsafes for bad GPS coordinates ...
Pacific Standard: The Trembling Aspen Is in Trouble.
Quaking aspen, please. We have quite a few in these parts. I can tell you from drives up the Ski Basin Road, photographing the aspen ‘altitudes’, the ones closest to the road are the most unhealthy. You would imagine the asphalt would capture and store water underneath, but in practice, it seems the exposure to sun (edge of forest along road, no shorter trees to shade trunks) and pollution from vehicles stresses them more than overall drought does. My theory, anyway. YMMV. We had some particularly severe tent caterpillar incursions a couple of years ago, but they don’t seem to do lasting damage. The trees affected are now as full as they ever were.
Shift - Guest, Thomas Vander Wal.
Forgot to point to Euan and Megan’s latest podcast. Particularly interesting to bloggers. Tags didn’t show up on blogs until long after my last redesign. At times, I’ve wanted them (clickable tags, but also hashtags for social benefits). Now that hashtags are on the wane from overuse, I doubt I’ll include tags in my next redesign.
I suppose my most controversial category (in my own mind) is scholarly. I wanted a broad term to pull in not just education, but also philosophy, authority, etc. - reducing a bunch of individual categories that would be required to cover the same space. Not everything is a good fit there, but it’s the best I can do for now.
And the travel category needs to be widened; I keep chucking international news bits in. For scholarly I can deal with a bit of ambiguity; for travel, I can’t. I imagine many people scratching their heads when they see that category on a post.
Then comes the question, do I just add an international category, and back-correct my posts ... or just start fresh from date of new category? I could simply make it travel/international. I rebel against two-word categories. Can’t help it. I want it fast, simple. I like to believe elegance is still rewarded.
The seemingly-vital trivialities of running a long-term weblog ...
AE Scripts/Plugins: Tickler.
Could be very handy when you don’t have time/budget to do a full-on animation.
NY Times: Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities.
I used to be pro-repatriation. I suppose Zahi Hawass made such a strong case for Egyptian artifacts to be best appreciated in their country of origin, I was convinced. The Bamiyan Buddhas, Arab Spring, etc. have convinced me otherwise now. Spread cultural treasures widely throughout the world - with liberal travel/touring displays. Humanity’s art and history belong to no individual nation, region or political system.
PopSci: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are No Match For Medieval Potion.
Gross, but “... the combined liquid killed almost all the cells; only about one in 1,000 bacteria survived.” No word on what it does to the host ...
AnumHussain: Start-to-Finish Guide - How To Launch & Grow A Blog.
As opposed to many other folks making these recommends, she prioritizes talking face-to-face. No gaming the system here, just commonsense. Glad this sailed into my aggregator. Bookmarked, to pass to clients who say “I want to start a blog ...” without any knowledge of what is necessary to make it successful. It’ll save me an hour and a half in meetings, easily.
Aeon: Management theories from Roman slave-owners.
When ‘personal branding’ was done with a red-hot iron. I have to say, I was pretty ruthless* on new hires when I was working in management. Taking corporate productions on the road, you need an extraordinary dose of patience, a significant sense of responsibility, and a clear understanding of “failure is not an option.” It’s something that can only be accomplished through mentoring; it can’t be taught through books or interactives. I successfully moved about a half-dozen assistants through this process. Only two went on to freelance. The business requires a certain temperament — if you can’t get your work done in a cold dark ballroom with an Executive VP losing their sh-t in your left ear over a typo in their speech, you won’t make it. [*You all know me well enough to know how I mean “ruthless”. I’m harder on myself than my hires.]
Past Horizons: Rare medieval devotional panel found by River Thames goes on show.
Some interesting backstory here. Go Google a bit on Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. Links to all sorts of trivia.
CNN Money: Andrew Sullivan - Blogging nearly killed me.
“He described the grueling pace that he maintained along with a small editorial staff. ‘This is 40 posts a day - every 20 minutes, seven days a week,’ Sullivan said.” Try fifteen plus years, largely by your lonesome. As I’ve said before, if blogging is a chore, you might be in the wrong business.
First time trying that Instagram embed.
Monstrous, out of the box. I narrowed and centered it. Still too large?
NY Times: Grown-Ups Get Out Their Crayons.
What else need I say?
Mashable: Belle Gibson built a career on curing cancer — but did she have it?
How many people do we read, every day, who are also obscuring the truth?
Youtube: Photography Tips - Don’t be afraid to get it ‘wrong’. Fear is a creativity killer!
Archaeology News Network: Ear bone of Neanderthal child points to anatomical differences.
“... we do not yet know the relation between these morphological differences and hearing in the Neanderthals. This would constitute a new challenge for the future.” Now there’s something mindbending. More or less sensitive hearing?
Reddit/Sci: Folic acid lowers stroke risk in people with high blood pressure - large clinical trial.
Read the comments before slamming folic acid tabs.