21 February 2021

Link round-up for 21 February 2021

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

o o o o o

This is what happens when you put a cat in charge of Valentine's Day.

Witness a mighty echinoderm fart.

When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

Best airline safety video ever.

Nope, too cold.

That's a pretty bad weight problem.

Do you know Maya? (found via Neko Random).

This map of the US was made by a truck driver who has been through most of it.

You should refuse.

Languages have irregularities.

Trust in God.

Follow the map.

The brave hunter stalks his prey whatever the danger.

It's perfectly translated.

Here's how you can use a fork to lock a door.

Volunteers save thousands of sea turtles from the icy waters off Texas.

This is Kyoto.

Creepy vintage Valentine cards here.

Where can one meet the ladies of antifa?

Apparently people bought these.

Mock Paper Scissors QAnonsplains the Texas blackout.

There's now a vegan KitKat bar, though it won't go on sale for a few more months.

Make better monsters.

See spectacular light pillars.

Everything's big in Texas, including the hypocrisy (found via Hackwhackers).  Here's the Texas-Arkansas border.

Here are 25 great revenge movies (found via Miss Cellania).

Control freaks don't like AO3.

Humans are fascinated by giant waves and their destructive power.

Umberto Eco gave some wise advice on maintaining a rich mental life in a gadget-filled world.

It's not a zero-sum game.

This is a storm in South Dakota.

Don't over-sanitize.

The Bozell sequence tells the story of US conservatism.

Before you set out to study something, make sure it even exists.

This wingnut "fact-checking" site needs some fact-checking itself.

CafePress caves to medieval taboo.

Your e-mail is probably spying on you, but there's a way to stop it.

Shower Cap reviews the week in wingnuttia.

It's not easy, but it's possible to get banned from Parler.

Remember January 6.

Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism is retiring from blogging.  Perfect Number has a retrospective of her best posts.

Embracing violent wingnuttery is bad for business.

Is the Kensington runestone evidence of a 14th-century Scandinavian presence in Minnesota?  Probably not.

A Pennsylvania blogger looks at where Trumpanzees come from.

Sorry, this is dangerous nonsense and should not be taught in schools.  Nor should this.

A trial is farcical when half the jury are co-conspirators of the defendant.

"Life After Hate" uses psychology to bring people out of violent hate gangs.  The group's site is here.

Here's how things went so wrong in Texas, and the ways people died.  Make no mistake, Republicans are to blame -- the system design is tainted by ideology.  Texas bloggers Matt Barsotti and New Witch (more here) report from ground zero.  Some tried to help.

The pill was a revolutionary innovation.

Limbaugh is not worthy of mourning.

Cause and effect, cause and effect.

Some good Twitter takes here on what's going on around the country, plus the Athenian Acropolis snowed in.

You never know when a knife may come in handy.

Darwinfish 2 looks at Moscow Mitch's hypocrisy and the latest wingnut bullshit.

Evangelicalism is a death cult.

Racist ideology is driving people out of academia.

US life expectancy decreased by one year in 2020.

Almost all the Congressional Republicans who voted for impeachment or conviction have been censured by their home-state parties.  The party is doomed to Trumpism because it has no other options.

Using the police to handle issues involving autistic people is dangerous, and a recent reform in Iowa won't help.

"Deal with the GOP as it is, not the fantasy of how it was, not the fantasy of how it could be."

My city's strict adherence to covid-19 precautions has probably saved about 2,000 lives.  But perhaps guarding dumpsters from hungry people shouldn't be such a priority.

Barely a month into his term, Biden is keeping promises.

Expose the effects of corporate ownership of news media.

Yellowdog Granny has images from a memorable week.

Traditionalist Catholics celebrate the proposed Tennessee law I linked to last week, which would enable any man who impregnates a woman to block her from having an abortion.

Donate here to help those economically impacted by the pandemic.

The far right is splintering as people suspect each other of being informants (found via Mock Paper Scissors).

No, free money doesn't make people lazy.

Respect a trans person's right to define her own identity.

With adults back in charge, the US is re-engaging with Europe.

Religio-wingnuts spread lies about covid-19 vaccination in the UK and Ireland.

The Catholic Church in Germany is still trying to cover up its child-abuse scandals.

Israel's vaccination program is a model for the world.

Kenya reports zero rhinos killed by poachers in 2020.  The reasons are revealing.

Strange life lurks beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica.

Science is making progress on reversing ageing.

Remarkably, we've known of the existence of Pluto for less than a century.

Congratulations to NASA on the successful landing of Perseverance on Mars.  Here's the main mission site, and some info on the Ingenuity helicopter, which will be the first aircraft to operate on another planet.  The rover has a Twitter account.

More links here.

o o o o o

In case you missed it -- this week I posted observations on independent thought, a video on the aftermath of Chernobyl, and a meditation on those who dare not state their case.


Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

The LOTR safety video is indeed a classic! Love it! Kyoto in the Fall looks spectacular! When we were there, it was Springtime.

21 February, 2021 07:12  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

Texas seems like it's a disaster right now, so much going on and so much of it not good and just sad.

The fork lock is super cool.

I grew up in California and went to the beach all the time so you would think that I would enjoy watching surfers in those big waves. Nope. Those massive waves freak me out.

21 February, 2021 13:10  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

crazy Texas..will be 67 tomorrow and 70 tuesday

21 February, 2021 18:39  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

That map of America is hilarious and eerily accurate? I would love to talk to that truck driver.
That door lock left me thinking! LOL
And I've been to Texarkana. That photo is absolutely accurate. Who knew?


22 February, 2021 01:04  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

(PT.1) Thank You for the links about the Texas storm stuff, because I haven't even kept up yet with this stuff besides brief clips on news radio/ tele. I didn't realize until now, just how problematic our energy infrastructure is. I still have no water/ plumping in my place, been maybe a week or so? I remember waking probably about 3am, I think monday, because I was breathing in what seemed like very cold air in my sleep, opened my eyes to total darkness, grabbed a lantern (battery operated), I noticed that steam was coming from my mouth, inside my apartment, had no idea what the temp was, but probably freezing or below (bad insulation, that does no retain heat well, only air conditioning). Went outside, the entire neighbourhood was black, very windy and cold with sideways blowing snow. My daughter who lives in a newly built place in Bluffview area of Dallas, had no rolling blackouts, no power outages, or no water problems, the entire time, not one ... I got my wife over to her place, wife has some medical conditions, so my immediate concern was her ... I took a quick middle of night shower at my daughters, and went back to my place, to check things out, about 5-6 miles from my daughter's place. By mid day there was no water, went to my buddies construction site he works, using my buddies big heavy duty pick up I borrowed (which is better traction and high off the ground, than my little Honda Fit, and got a half a dozen empty 5 gallon water jugs, went to an out door faucet line I found that was working, hooked a hose to it, filled the bottles and took them home, went to store (Walmart) to get some things I needed real quick before shit runs out, including a few cases of bottled spring water. The water jugs I was able to use to flush toilet, or as I told neighbours, you can use plastic bags from like Target or somewhere, line your toilet bowl to take a shit, if you need ... or go to the pool, break the ice and get water from it with bucket or whatever. After a couple days, you now had cobblestone ice (frozen ice/ sleet, snow and slush), making driving difficult to drive. My daughter was worried trying to drive on it, so I got her, put her in the driver seat and instructed her how to drive on it, etc, I told my daughter that this was just like a typical winter day in Buffalo .... she said you're kidding? ... nope, I'm for real, I lived and drove in it, myself, as well as Chicago. Power would come on for 30 minutes to maybe 4 hours tops, but because of inadequate insulation (cold driving sub zero winds go in the walls and under the unit quick), when it shut off, it took about 30 minutes for your place to get cold again, so I just used newsprint and towels to try to line doors and windows, to try to retain as much warmth as possible.

22 February, 2021 14:09  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

(PT.2), I did also have portable battery operated radio, so I could get info through that on a 24/7 news station. But it was disappointing when I heard a live press conference from Governor Abbott, who was supposed to be answering questions about a plan and what happened ... he started talking about something like a "Green New Deal" being the problem and wind turbines or whatever ... I just shut the fucken radio off, instead of listening to this dipshit who lives in a mansion. I mean, I was expecting to hear what is in the works, he's up here rattling off about AOC Green Deal shit and wind turbines or something as the fault ... we're in an emergency, in other words, and this mother fucker is talking about politics, etc. I heard this morning that some Texas republican politician is wanting to present some legislation now, to make Texas an independent state/ country (which would put us in worse shapein a crisis) ... this is the current state of American stupidity and deluded state of mind on greatness, or other related, which has reached unprecedented levels ... even on the cornavirus we can't get our shit halfway straight (thank goodness I was able to get my wife and family both vaccines), and pretty much do everything ass- backwards ... I wouldn't let these fucken scholar graduates change the oil on my goddamn vehicle they're so inadequate ... these are the people, that have many Americans believing they're elite ... who frankly couldn't get their vehicle out of a mud hole, and would have to call AAA. So far, like every crisis we face, we have people/ neighbours all helping each other, they're the heroes in this, or anything like such we have to deal with. I had neighbours and friends asking me things about when will shit get fixed, or anyone is coming to help, etc. Frankly I never count on it, and just instinctually go into "on our own/ survival mode" ... I hope for the best, don't don't count on much, from history and experience. People/ families are now getting hit with (no shit either) electric bills of about $6,000 to $17,000 a month, Abbott said he will make it so they don't have their power cut off if they can't pay it ... what, set up a payment plan or something? ... this is incompetence in GOVERNING. I never knew until now, just how outdated out energy plan and infrastructure is here in Texas, and that Texas energy (since this deregualtion stuff years back), is totally market driven and iunregulated. I guess y'all got part of this arctic blast too? I wrote plenty years back in my "Global War'n'ing" series about things like climate change, needed infrastructure updates and the polar vortex with links, and moving further down into the lower 48, and we alwayz get cold/ ice snaps up here in Dallas, they are just going further south now with this global warming, and our energy providers should know beter than anyone, that we need upgrades because of global warming, they're just too cheap, and only thinking about making a quick buck. Other than that, as I'm writing this, all ice is melted, and it's dry clear skies and 71 degrees out, hard to believe the difference in a week ... but I still have no water/ plumbing (I'm still using water jugs, and going to my daughters house to shower) ... when you call the apartments office, you talk to bots and recordings, saying they hope to get things going this week or whatever ... yet I see no plumbing crews on the property, I have not seen one plumbing truck, and I walk the property daily. My neighbours asked me where the crews are that the office talked about? ... I told them, just jokingly ... they must be "virtual plumbers", cause I haven't seen any either.

22 February, 2021 14:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Debra: New Zealand has gotten a lot of mileage out of Lord of the Rings, that's for sure.

Mary K: The fork lock takes more preparation than I would have hoped, but it might be worth carrying one around in case of need. I stay right away from the ocean.

JackieSue: I hope at least the snow is gone. Hell of a mess to clean up, though.

Sixpence: I haven't been to most of those places, but the map does have a ring of truth to it.

Ranch: Thanks for the report from ground zero. There are fears that a lot of underground pipes were burst by freezing water; if so, it may be quite a while before normal water service is restored. Most people probably aren't as quick-thinking as you are in dealing with the sudden onset of such an emergency. If the toilets don't start working again soon, things are going to get nasty.

The Republicans responded to this disaster by trying to shift blame and score political points while AOC has raised $5 million to get actual help to people quickly. I hope people notice the contrast. Eventually help will come on a bigger scale, but it will be from the feds, not the state authorities. At least Biden will actually help and not just spout insults because the state didn't vote for him, the way Trump did with California.

Those huge electric bills people have been getting have been in the news quite a lot. That's what happens when an unregulated utility company is allowed to gouge desperate people. Again, let's hope voters will see the lesson in what lack of regulation really means.

23 February, 2021 03:58  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Yes ... the current republican leadership has been bitching, and trying to say they'll investigate or whatever, because they have been getting pounded by Texan residents and business owners in particular, as well as ERCOT (Electric 'RELIABILITY' Council of Texas ... what a name for them, eh?). Frankly, people are really pissed here, this includes a Hell of alot of born and raised life long conservative Texans ... they are PISSED! I mean, I been hearing some of their recorded calls to the Governor and others. And I hate bringing politics into this. But the fact is, while folks like Gov. Abbott was laying political blame on AOC's Green New Deal or whatever (which hasn't even been inacted yet, as far as I know of) from his secured and energy efficient location ... IT WAS Congresswoman Cortez (of NY, at that), who was not only raising millions for Texas ... but also in the trenches serving food or whatever was needed in Houston. And I'm not sure what the fuck Sen. Cruz is/ was doing? ... besides staying at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun or whatever ... probably sunbathing, etc ... and seems like he used his kids (little kids, imagine that) saying they wanted him to take them to Cancun because they had off from school or whatever ... I'm sure they chose the Ritz Carlton, too ... heh? Yes, President Biden already jumped up to the plate offering federal assistance to Texans, I believe he is also here, maybe today or yesterday? And many folks from out of state helping ... so much credit and Thanx to them. With all that's been going on as far as challenges here in America, COVID, etc ... can you imagine where we would be right now, if Trump won the election? ... I'm serious, just look at his actions in 4 years of his Presidency ... he may wake up one morning in a disaster like this, get the red-ass over something, then flee to Florida to go play golf for a week, fire all the people that been working on it ... and not respond to media for a week, until he gets over what upset him ... you can bet his ass wouldn't act quick on a goddamn thing. We got clear 70s today, so good for working on lines or whatever ... got a few days of rain on the way ... but temps won't drop to freezing, so we should be able to get some shit rolling.

23 February, 2021 09:18  

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