31 July 2016

Link round-up for 31 July 2016

30 August 2016 is Laugh at Gullible Idiots Day.  Mark your calendars.

Biggest snake ever.

A Trumpanzee gets pwned by the President of Estonia.

Down with suffocating regulation!

Lou Engle wants you to pay thousands to learn to mumble a lot, stop eating, and pretend that this is somehow like being in the Air Force.

Go sleep with the sharks.

Martin Molin invents the world's most complicated musical instrument.

Republicans have changedEven in just eight years.

Utah has a living organism which is 80,000 years old and weighs 6,500 tons.

Green Eagle reads the wingnutosphere so you don't have to.

A family throws a surprise party with a difference.

A kiss triggers a Bible-thumping freak in Florida.  Then there's this guy in Britain (both found via Republic of Gilead).

The US Navy will name a ship after gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

Republican ideology has driven Asian-Americans toward the Democrats.

These people will vote.  Will you?

Fundie gay-bashers can't nuance Orlando.

No elderly person should vote Republican.

Angry at Russian hackers trying to sabotage the Democrats?  Here's something else to worry about.

Genetic engineering is our best weapon against viruses.

This map shows all the surviving prehistoric stone relics in the British Isles (found via Mendip).

Escaping the EU will allow the UK to rebuild ties with a far more dynamic and modern international network.

The bigots win one in Romania, but I'm betting it's temporary.

Iranian men help protest their country's female dress code.

A top Sunni cleric fumes that atheists and their "seductive reasoning" are winning over young Muslims.

Dâ'ish (ISIL) burns women alive for refusing sex slavery.

Kuwait last week reached 129° Fahrenheit, an Asian record (found via Politics Plus).

Here are the margins by which people in other G20 countries prefer Hillary (note the one exception).

"Herstory" is made, and the next generation is watching.

Crazy Eddie explains why the Trump/Putin/e-mail hack scandal may have legs.  And just imagine if the sides had been reversed.

Assange gives the game away.

Even Erick Erickson respects the power of Khizr Khan's DNC speech, while other conservatives rebuke Ann Coulter for her ugly insult (found via Hackwhackers).  Khan implores Republican leaders to repudiate Trump.

Don't waste your vote -- don't betray Bernie.

Donald Trump, dealmaker.  And here's the perfect Trump campaign sign.

Romney may endorse the Libertarian ticket, which could impact the election (see comment 6).

This is just one of the countless regular guys Trump has ripped off.

Driftglass looks at the conventions.  Republicans bemoan the DNC's success on Twitter.  In a role reversal, Democrats become the security party, while it's Hillary and not Trump who passes the Commander-in-Chief test.

[Image at top found via PM Carpenter.]


Blogger Paul Wartenberg said...

Utah has a living organism which is 80,000 years old and weighs 6,500 tons.

And it's still not voting for Trump. Thank God.

31 July, 2016 07:07  
Blogger Ahab said...

Pando Forest was amazing. I didn't know an entire forest could be a single organism. I've heard of massive fungi, but this is the first time I learned about massive tree networks.

The only thing you can do when you see a truck bumper like the one in Idaho is sigh.

With regard to party platforms on elder issues, some will still vote for Trump because (1) some people don't bother to investigate policies that affect them, (2) some people for a candidate without reading up on their platform, and (3) some people are so dense that they will vote against their interests. Let's hope that plenty of elders do vote Democrat in November, though.

I applaud the Iranian men who are wearing hijab to show solidarity with women.

How can people even survive in 129 degree heat? Even if one stays in the shade and drinks plenty of water, the danger of heat exhaustion would be great.

31 July, 2016 11:11  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

I'll give the politics a rest this week. That marble machine is an incredible instrument, but as far as the most complicated musical instrument, I'd suggest either something like this:


or this:


31 July, 2016 11:59  
Blogger Pinku-Sensei said...

Thanks for linking to me twice this week. I'm glad Green Eagle found the Marble Machine impressive, even if it isn't the most complicated musical instrument ever, just the most complicated built this year.

As for possible Russian (or other foreign power) tampering with our voting machines being worse than the Wikileaks dump of DNC emails and Trump's call for Russia to do more of the same, I have a Washington Post article on that topic already queued up to post at the Coffee Party's Facebook page later this week. I'm looking forward to the reaction to that one.

Like both Paul and Ahab, I found the Pando Forest item fascinating. Since my day job is as a professor in both biology and geology, I can use that in my work.

Finally, a lot of the summary on Asian-American voting patterns, while based on an article in The American Prospect, looks like an article by Menzie Chinn published in Business Insider four years ago. A similar thing happened with Muslim Americans, a majority of whom voted for Bush in 2000, but most of whom are voting against Trump this year. For what it's worth, Menzie Chinn has an updated entry with the latest polling up. It shows the trend continuing.

31 July, 2016 12:43  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

No, even a 6,500-ton mass of wood isn't dense enough to vote for Trump.

I think Republicans would lose a lot of the elder vote if people better understood their schemes against Social Security. The Democratic Party needs to educate people on that issue. Ignorance abounds, though. Bill Clinton, while campaigning, once encountered a woman who begged him "don't let the government take over Social Security".

We all need an occasional break from politics and I am greatly looking forward to the day after the election when I never have to think about Trump again.

The marble machine may not be the most complex instrument ever, but the spirit of Rube Goldberg lives in its essence, I think.

The Republicans seem to be hell-bent on alienating as many groups as possible. Interesting that even Sanders attracts considerable Asian-American support. But I think once people feel that a party harbors potential racial animosity against them, that pretty much wipes out all other issues.

31 July, 2016 15:15  
Blogger Paul Wartenberg said...

The Republicans seem to be hell-bent on alienating as many groups as possible.

There's a short-term logic to what the Republicans have done: they've tried - and continue to try - to pander to the largest possible voting bloc out there with White voters, especially aging voters (who show up while younger ones don't) and especially men within certain economic brackets (it's not the poor whites but the lower-income whatever's-left-of-the-middle-class whites).

But they're running out of room. Romney garnered 60 percent of White voters in 2012 with around 65 percent white voter turnout... AND LOST. And the Republicans have done nothing to bolster their numbers among Blacks, Hispanics and Asians (even though those groups do not flip states by percent shifts in turnout or party support, they do solidify the Blue states and can affect two to five battleground states). Meaning that for 2016, Trump has to count on either getting MORE White voters (up to 65 percent more, from what I've calculated) OR higher White voter turnout (well above 75 percent, which is given the poor turnout history an unlikely possibility).

This is all based off of a rather interesting electoral calculator at RCP http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/08/26/demographics_and_the_2016_election_scenarios.html
which is stuck to certain parameters but otherwise an interesting demographic tracker. The calculator's biggest flaw is that it doesn't divide votes by gender: Given Trump's near-historic bad numbers among women, it would be nice to adjust the demographics with THAT as a factor and see which states stay Blue and which flip Blue.

There can't be enough white male racists in the country, right? There is no way Trump COULD even keep Romney's 60 percent White voter support when you factor in the number of White women fleeing the GOP this election cycle (I saw one early poll that had Trump with White voter support at 49 percent).

Add to that the wild card factor of Hispanics - they are polling 80 percent AGAINST Trump on average - whose voter registration has reportedly gone up this election cycle (wonder why) and can well affect battleground states like Arizona(!), Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Florida and even Texas.

Still, I would feel a whole lot better when we see more consistent and accurate polling... that hopefully puts Hillary up around 49-52 percent and puts Trump somewhere between 27-35 percent. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPL.......

31 July, 2016 17:00  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Browsing through some of your links here Infidel ... the one on prehistoric stone relics wouldnt work for me (connect).

Fascinating complicated musical instrument though, what a piece or art and craftsmanship!

Hard to believe that the ancient 44ft boa constrictor was only 2500lbs, would love to be able to go back to that time, if time travel were possible, just to experience as well the odors and sounds even.

NO, I never even heard of Rev. John Hagee, and sure as Hell didnt know the end of the world is here again, seems like we just had the end of the world recently, eh?

The piece on genetic engineering and viruses is cool, I alwayz hear alot of the downside stuff from folks of genetic engineering, but look at it as a type of saviour of humanity too. As far as the GMO thing for example, I too think that foods should be labeled, if they are GMO, but strictly for the consumer/ customer, being the pro- business MF that I am ... it's how business should operate in other words ... you know, the customer wants to know WTF they're buying (at least I do), but at the same time, I look at genetic modified foods as a positive breakthrough as well.

Enjoy those moderate summer temps in Portland Infidel ... here it may even hit 100 degrees to day in central Dallas!

01 August, 2016 06:23  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

The Titanoboa was very cool. I love seeing how big things could get in eons past!

Kuwait's recent record high was quite scary, even though I gather it's always been a pretty hot place (I remember once seeing a temperature forecast for the country's capital, which stated that the minimum temperature there was expected to be nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Interesting that the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world occurred just over a century ago - I'd imagine there'd be quite a few climate change deniers pouncing on that fact, and saying, "See?! There's nothing to worry about!"

Re the wingnuts who'll be voting in November, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the signs in the first image actually had all the words on them spelled correctly (talk about setting the bar low)! As for the truck covered with bumper stickers, I remember seeing a few vehicles like that the last time I was in the States. A couple were in Washington DC, and perhaps belonged to some of the dozen or so people I saw at one of those embarrassingly small "impeach Obama" rallies that I gather are/were a not infrequent occurrence in your nation's capital. Certainly one of the more unusual highlights of my visit!

Interestingly enough, there's a guy who lives in my local area who has a car that's plastered with bumper stickers, though his are a bit of a mixed bag. He has some quite sane ones about protecting the environment, making the government govern for all (not just the rich), and things like that, but also a heap of ones railing against vaccinations, fluoride and chemtrails. He also appears to be an anti-feminist, a big fan of Alex Jones, and a 9/11 truther - indeed, many of the "stickers" on his car regarding the last thing are actually little signs he's written up himself (with all the usual truther talking points such as "Jet fuel can't melt steel!"). Strange character. I think I've actually seen him at my local library a few times - he's an older guy who wears a straw hat with a badge saying "9/11 was an inside job" affixed to it. So, um, yeah, we have our own crazies here too! I believe we even voted a few of them into Parliament during our last national election (about a month ago now)!

Getting back to the truck in the picture, and some of the stickers on it, a good rebuttal I've heard to the "It's a child, not a choice!" argument is "It's a child, not a consequence!" (an allusion to the fact most "pro-lifers" only seem to oppose abortion because they think unwanted children should be a "consequence" for women being "sluts"). As for the "Comrade Obama U.S.S.A." one, the use of the term "USSA" by wingnuts never ceases to irritate me, given that it's an abbreviation that actually makes no sense. No doubt, anyone who uses it must be labouring under the misconception that the R in USSR stood for Russia, rather than Republics!

01 August, 2016 07:38  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The problem with appealing to "the white vote" is that not all the groups Republicans have alienated are racial minorities. They've also driven away the educated, the non-religious, and single women. A lot of those people are white, so there are big chunks of the white vote they've put off-limits to themselves as well.

I think this is a difficult race to poll accurately, since certain factors like the gender gap and Hispanic turnout will probably work quite differently than in previous cycles.

The megalith link is working now -- perhaps the site was down temporarily.

The world has been ending pretty frequently for at least several centuries. The sheep always fall for the scam again and again, though.

We've had a pretty moderate summer here so far -- of course these days one never knows. Last year the how weather lasted well into October, a month longer than usual.

129 degrees is potentially lethal over sustained periods. Kuwait is rich enough that defenses like air conditioning are probably widespread, bu when places like India start getting that hot, it's going to be catastrophic. There's no time to lose in tackling global warming.

I've never understood the urge to advertise one's views with bumper stickers. There are lots of things I feel strongly about, but it's not as if bumper stickers are going to change anyone else's opinion, and given the number of people who see my car over a long period of time, they might well piss off the wrong person. It seems pointless.

01 August, 2016 16:34  

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