12 January 2020

Link round-up for 12 January 2020

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Exercise can be difficult.  Reading books should be easier, but will justice prevail?

Obey the pharmacist.

There's a toy in every box!

From perfect picture to almost-perfect picture.

Whoever designed this sign knew exactly what he was doing.

See faces in the snow.

What could go wrong?

Physical books still far outsell their electronic rivals.

Cathedral art celebrates the talented Konrad von Hochstaden.

"Open a channel to the Ferengi vessel....."

A queen's hair is commemorated in the sky.

See Uranus moon the king of the fairies.

Writers, be careful around Dreame.

Prayer and logic don't mix.

Let's dance, retro style.

Insightful words from Alexander Leon apply to many other people as well as gays.

The Iran war is canceled, so Trump is back to his usual telling lies and babbling like an idiot.

The religious nuts are throwing a fit about a kids' cartoon show.

Is it legal?

Blogger Shower Cap has an SF/political comic coming out.

Some fundies have a problem with cats.

Protect internet privacy with lava lamps.

There's a good market for well-maintained decades-old tractors because the newer ones are so hard to repair.

"I am an atheist because....."

For wingnuts, everything is an opportunity to pick fights.

Which group is least humane?

The agenda of the "Make Women Great Again" conference must be seen to be believed.

Sports commentary has a long history of racism.

It's dangerous when the police rely on psychological bullshit.

This Christian author's list of the top three reasons people reject Christianity shows he's completely clueless about the actual reasons people leave Christianity.

Even The History Channel is now catering to the moron demographic.

"The church people gave us that piece of sh*t p***y-grabber?!  Yep, they did" (found via this more recent post which you should also read).

A Trumpanzee prepares for the dawn of socialism.

The Methodist split was largely geographical (African vs. American).

The Jehovah's Witnesses are off the hook for failing to report sexual abuse to the police.

It's absurd to expect Trump to recognize the concept of "too extreme".

True unbiased journalism must reject naïve neutrality.

Republican policy on Obamacare has been reduced to total incoherence (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

Every so often the bigot's mask slips.

The whole country should do this.

Trumpanzees' loyalty is rooted in astonishing ignorance.  They resort to dishonesty and hypocrisy to defend Trump's latest stupid moves.

Boeing hid problems with the 737 Max from the FAA.

Lindsey Graham takes on his character from the biggest shark around him.

Republicans keep trying to use the law to force everyone to obey the Christian taboo system.

Celery can have "negative calories", but only under rare circumstances.

Humpback whales are capable of inter-species altruism.

Lasers are a game-changer in missile-interception technology.

Canada suffered many losses aboard the Ukrainian airliner destroyed over Tehran.

Here are ten countries where you can live well and cheaply (but do some research before actually moving).

In the Netherlands, Catholics have dropped from 40% to barely 20% of the population since the sixties, and only a mainly-elderly minority of those are regular churchgoers.

Łódź, Poland, during World War II exemplified the horrors of Nazi racial policy.

Yes, it's free speech.  Deal with it.

Iranian reactions to the Soleimânî killing are more complex than they look.  The downing of the Ukrainian airliner led to protests calling for the death of the Supreme Leader.

Reminder -- the Iranian regime is a theocracy and behaves like one.

Most of the Western left doesn't understand the Middle East much better than Trump does.

Indigenous Taiwanese, descendants of the inhabitants before Chinese colonization 400 years ago, remain a distinct group in the country.

Trump's fate will be determined by how united Democrats are.

8 in 10 voters say "compromise and common ground should be the goal for political leaders".  Yes, that's impossible, but this is the electorate our candidates need to appeal to in order to win.

Poor Biden, nobody likes him except the voters.

More links here.

[Image at top: part of my own book collection, built up over decades]


Blogger Mike said...

I think photoshop can fix that picture.

12 January, 2020 00:29  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Is that photo YOUR to-be-read bookcase? Nice! And oh my, cathedral art is not what it used to be. That was a very interesting article about how religious people don't tend to have cats as pets. Glad to see lava lamps have a new, high-tech use!

"Legality is a matter of power, not justice." That is very, very true.

12 January, 2020 08:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mike: A digital pooper-scooper, so to speak.

Debra: Actually I've read all those books cover-to-cover (except for a few which are reference books like grammars), the majority of them more than once.

Law is what those in power make it. One probably shouldn't fetishize it too much.

12 January, 2020 08:40  
Blogger Mary said...

Love the Hitchens quote about cats.

12 January, 2020 08:55  
Blogger Unknown said...

One of the very first things out up on the world weird web, back in the antediluvian 90's was lavarand which was a camera aimed at a lava lamp somewhere in an office in the Berkeley? (maybe Sun) campus. partly as a 'this is a cool thing we can do now' exercise and partly as an experiement to see if it could serve as a randomization source. Sadly I no longer have the link (it went dead many years ago...

Narrator: It was SGI, and here's the earliest capture from the wayback machine... https://web.archive.org/web/19971210213248/http://lavarand.sgi.com/

12 January, 2020 09:10  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I agree about the e-books. I read quite a lot. 107 books last year and most of them were physical copies not e-books. I think I've probably bought a handful of e-books because I'd much rather have a physical copy that I can give away or sell if I choose to. With e-books you can't do that. On Amazon you can lend an e-book to someone for some books but I can't sell it to a used book store or send it to someone else. I have probably 2000 physical books on my bookshelves right now. I don't keep e-books. Once I read it, I delete it from my Kindle and it's gone.

12 January, 2020 09:23  
Blogger Ami said...

I can't say that I will never read e-books, but so far, no. I love to hold a real book in my hand. Some of mine are read to shreds, too. They're like old friends, I read them many times. Wait a few years, read them again.

I was amused/appalled by the pearl-clutching over the scary and demonic kid cartoon! Why, it's just like Harry Potter... making these things normal will do horrible things to your child and your life!

Still waiting for Harry Potter to do that, although that exact same prediction was made by my own mom when she learned I had allowed my kids to read the books.

Still wading through all the links you posted. I'm glad you do it. I learn something every time.

12 January, 2020 11:07  
Anonymous Tengrain said...

I’ve been fascinated by the lava lamps story, so I talked to a developer friend at Apple who enjoyed it too.

The essence is that physical world is always actually random (it could be the camera aimed at an intersection) and as those of us in software know that you cannot program a random event. FWIW, Apple computers do have a built-in hardware random generator when you let the machine generate a password for you. Who knew?

I still like the design aspect of the lava lamps though. It’s sort of silly, but it probably gets a lot of positive press, and it would be fun to look at. Pretty colors.



PS - thanks for the links!

12 January, 2020 15:56  
Blogger Ali Redford said...

I love these. I enjoy your blog in general, and these link roundups are great!

12 January, 2020 18:52  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Love your collection!
And I think that even though I do have many books in my Kindle, I still go out and buy paperbacks. Old habits....
And thanks for the links! I was clicking like crazy!


13 January, 2020 03:47  
Blogger nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing said...

Somehow you got left off my blog list. Probably me fiddlin' with something. Glad you are back.

I liked the one about: Make Voting Day a Holiday.
It still might not get the lazies to vote, but on the other hand it might leave some without an excuse. I used to go early early to get a good place to stand and still had to wait.
Live in a small town now and usually vote early. No problems!

13 January, 2020 06:45  
Anonymous nonnie9999 said...

I was busy yesterday, so I will take a deep dive into the links today. Just wanted to say thanks for the link over to The Raisin.

13 January, 2020 12:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary: Hitchens has a good quote for any topic.....

Unknown: I was at Berkeley, but quite a bit earlier than that. They were always doing interesting things there, though.

Mary K: That's part of the problem with e-books -- it's not the same as having full ownership of a physical object. Also, they don't keep going obsolete when a new technical format gets invented. The last time the format for physical books changed was in the 8th century when Alcuin popularized lower-case letters.

Ami: I've had a few books wear out and need to be replaced, over the years.

The flaming nutballs are now claiming that Harry Potter promotes homosexuality, of all things.

Tengrain: The ultimate randomness generator would be a machine hooked up to Trump's verbiage.

Thanks for the posts! You always find the best bad signs.

13 January, 2020 16:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ali: Thanks!

Sixpence: Glad you're back online.....

No Thoughts: I still think ideally the country should do what we do in Oregon -- vote by mail. No voting machines to hack, no waiting in line, and we always get high turnout. It also blunts the effect of last-minute smear stories in the media, since people can vote over a couple of weeks up to election day.

Nonnie: Thanks for your post -- hope the links prove interesting!

13 January, 2020 16:08  
Blogger jenny_o said...

Thank you for including my post in your links again, Infidel. And I see that now the protesters in Iran are being shot at and hit with tear gas ... They are very brave to keep demonstrating.

Now to check out some of the other links.

13 January, 2020 18:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Jenny_o: Thanks. It takes great courage to openly resist a regime like that. I wonder how many Americans would be willing to face such risks.

14 January, 2020 03:41  
Blogger Martha said...

Thanks for sharing my post!

I still only read print books. I don't mind digital, but I don't have a need for it yet. I had a lot of books waiting to be read and I suspect they will outlive me :)

14 January, 2020 17:54  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks for the post! And having books you still want to read strikes me as a good motivator to stay alive as long as possible. I'm sure even the Grim Reaper would understand.

15 January, 2020 17:37  

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