08 June 2014

Link round-up for 8 June 2014

Here's what some people in 1939 thought clothes in 2000 would be like (found via Mendip).

Here's how Shakespeare would have done the Hokey Pokey.

A pitiful remnant of the failed Operation American Spring is still acting out in Washington.

Frozen was a great movie, but this is a bit over-the-top.

I09 reviews a new biography of Sally Ride.

There's a part of Maya Angelou's story that she embraced but most obituaries prefer to hush up (found via Kaveh Mousavi).

The fundies are still freaking out over the Harvey Milk stamp.

Sign here to support a ban on animal testing of cosmetics in the US.

Even in red states, a majority favor carbon-emission limits.

Beware of fake satire-news websites.

Will the guy on the right stand with us against the guy on the left?

Samuel Gompers understood the parasite class of his time.  Today, higher productivity isn't helping.

The average age of viewers of two top Fox shows is over 70, though in absolute numbers they still do well with the middle-aged.

Those five Taliban released in exchange for Bergdahl would have had to be released soon anyway.

Rosa Rubicondior has an update on the attempted creationist hijacking of South Carolina's mammoth.

Here are ten dishonest argument tactics used by Christians.  More here.

Ohio Republicans are trying to limit access to birth control.

Frank Moraes looks at a historic American traitor.

We still have lots of creationists, but the number of Americans accepting real evolution has doubled since 1982.

You can get a good wage at McDonalds, but you may need to relocate.

Which European country has the most college-educated people?  You may be surprised.

It's time for Britain to have its own First Amendment.

Here's how D-Day was experienced by a German soldier captured in the invasion.

On the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar, France is accidentally subsidizing the British navy.

The US and Europe are ready to tighten the screws further on Putin, if needed.  But his propaganda machine is going all-out.

Kaveh Mousavi has an excellent post on science and religion in the medieval Middle East (see my comments too).  Here's an example of a religious contribution to science today.

Babulal Gaur seems to aspire to be India's Todd Akin.  Petition the new Prime Minister to do better here.

The one that got away: a Pakistani woman survives an attempted honor killing.

China is destroying mountains, with unpredictable results.

Here's how China carries out the death penalty (warning -- gruesome photo).

Today is World Oceans Day (found via Mendip) -- sorry, it's too late.

We have plenty of scientists -- we need people who can explain science.

In certain tests of cognitive ability, chimpanzees do better than humans.


Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Those Chinese execution pictures were nasty - I wonder what the girl in the flowery sweater was shot for. I remember once finding a similar series of pictures depicting some Afghan mujahideen executing a member of their country's old Communist regime (again, by simply shooting the condemned with an assault rifle). I found those quite upsetting, not least because the deceased looked a little like a couple of guys I knew.

That Samuel Gompers quote was right on the money (heh). Quite often, I've found my blood pressure becoming dangerously elevated when I've read online comments lambasting those calling for a higher minimum wage in the US as "lazy", "selfish" or "entitled" (or, even worse, Communists!). Ironically, a lot of those comments are probably left by people who'd benefit from such an increase themselves. No doubt, though, they're the sort of deluded folk who think they're going to be millionaires some day because they're going to work really, really hard.

08 June, 2014 07:57  
Blogger Frank Moraes said...

Regarding the execution pictures: I'm struck by the fact that they are more humane than what we do in this country. I think the whole gas chamber, electric chair, lethal injection business is just to make it seem to the spectators that what is being done is somehow reasonable. A high powered bullet to the head is probably painless. I'm completely against the death penalty, but if we are going to do it, I don't think we should pretend that we aren't.

As for the chimps, well, that reminds me of a conversation I had with an environmental scientist. He was part of a project in Yosemite to test the intelligence of black bears. They put bacon in glass jars with reverse lids--ones that unscrew the opposite way. The bears really like bacon but wouldn't break the jars because they knew from experience that they got cut and it hurt. It took them on average 9 minutes to figure out the lids. This contrasts with humans, many of whom never figure out how to open the jars. The thing that humans are best at is overestimating how intelligent humans are.

08 June, 2014 10:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little do most know is that McDonalds' workers should make the same if minimum wage kept up with inflation. I really look down on my countrymen at times.

Finding out how Dr Angelou got down in her youth makes me see her as a badass. Wait until they finally tell the truth about Madame CJ Walker. People love their heroes pristine. I'd rather deal with the truth.


08 June, 2014 14:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: I can't make out the writing on the card on her chest except the last two characters, which I think mean "in every way". Of course, who knows if the official charges even have anything to do with why she was killed. China has 20% of the world's population but 80% of the executions. They're kind of casual about it.

Most people in the US don't realize that we now have less social mobility than most other advanced countries. The Republican party depends on being able to get poor and middle-class people to vote against their own economic interests. A great deal of money and ingenuity goes into getting them to do so.

Frank: That's probably true. Lethal injection and even the electric chair are slow and painful.

I'm torn about the death penalty. There are people who deserve it, but there have been so many cases of people who were convicted of crimes and later found to be innocent. Who knows how many innocent people have been executed?

I didn't know bears were that smart. We keep finding more and more evidence of animal intelligence being widespread.

Vic78: If minimum wage had kept up with inflation and helped keep other wages rising too, the huge productivity gains of the last few decades would have benefited those who produced them, rather than being skimmed off by the parasite class. It's maddening to think about.

Any time a hero seems pristine, it means we're getting a sanitized story. Most real heroes are people of energy and passion, and that goes in multiple directions.

08 June, 2014 15:16  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Great group of links. The Chines execution will haunt my dreams. I wasn't forced to look at it, but I chose to. There are some things we humans need to face about what we are.

08 June, 2014 16:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Well, we need to face the truth about what some people do, anyway. I don't feel culpable for the actions of other individuals.

09 June, 2014 07:45  

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