30 January 2022

Link round-up for 30 January 2022

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

o o o o o

More snow, fewer spiders!

A church suffers a burst water pipe.

Here's how warp drive really works.

Let Brooklynn-chan be your fashion and fitness guru.

Esme's Cloud is beset with hordes of followers.

Rely on a social distancing support cat.

People are hot for statues.

These are signs of the times.

Pwned, I think.

It's cold outside.

What is reverse exorcism?

In America's case, there are many options.

I never saw a purple cow, but..... (found via Miss Cellania).

Sometimes we can have nice things.

Keep an eye on this Czech nuclear reactor.  Here's a video.

These ancient Roman coins were kind of different from the coins we have now.

Think globally, act locally.

God got mad at the Tower of Babel, but.....

Chess reflects reality.

See how a snake climbs a tree.

Some interesting optical tricks and physics/chemistry stuff here.

Whitney Avalon riffs on Jurassic Park to create a lively feminist comic song.

A child awakens an ancient god in this satisfying little tale.

Have some flamenco videos and a gripping story of a drunken assault; also, a link to a new anti-child-abuse project.

Here's what the seven wonders of the ancient world looked like.

Cas d'intérêt has a round-up of items from France, including a post office that's far more than a post office.  More pics here from the latter.

This is San Francisco.

This is Mont-Saint-Michel off the coast of Normandy in France.

This is Warsaw in the 1930s, just before the disaster of World War II.

Here's a bizarre and disturbing short film (age-restricted by YouTube, and wisely so).

Grow up, manage your own money, learn reality.

If a claim seems odd, check the sources.

Stay out of this town and places like it.

Capitalism isn't meritocracy.

Anti-veganism is weird, especially from atheists.

The James Webb telescope is now deployed at its final location, almost a million miles from Earth.

Darwinfish 2 remembers Meat Loaf, plus some of the usual political exasperation.

Are you this hypocrite?

Validate their identity!

Rich people are clueless about the middle class.

God will judge.

Tips on quitting addictions here.

Defy censorship!

It doesn't take much to get bombarded with internet hate these days.

Twisting language to fit fads makes it irritating and confusing.

Don't pirate books.  In most cases you're shitting on the poor and the desperate.

See an interview with gay British activist/humorist MrMenno.

Autism complicates the struggle to deal with childhood sexual abuse.

The student bar association board of Emory university doesn't understand what a university is for.

There are grassroots ways to fight back against school library book-banning.

Carl Sagan's wife remembers his dignity in death.

An old labor poem gets updated for the present day.

I guess he no longer believes covid-19 is a "Jewish plot".

Handy woke-to-English translations here.

Green Eagle has another round-up from the lunatic fringe.

The great thinkers of the past will outlive the transient vermin now nipping around their heels.

Corporate executives make too much money and often don't know anything.

Not all atheists are rational.

Singer Remy laments the shittyization of San Francisco, to the tune of Taylor Swift.

Where men are free to be thugs, women are condemned for defending themselves.

"Hybrid" work schedules drag workers back to the office for part of the work week.  Workers find them little to no improvement over being dragged back all week.

We know who is behind political polarization (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).

103 years old, still true.

If women are "birthing people", men are.....

Apparently having grasped the disaster caused by reliance on global supply chains, companies are bringing chip manufacturing back to the US.

Evangelicals indoctrinate their children as much as any other cult.

Some US universities still support free speech.  But not many.

Don't pray on the internet (yeah, people do) -- corporate assholes will monetize even that.

If you use any of these VPN providers, be wary.

The delusion that everything about reality is just a "social construct" has sinister implications.

"The witch is not permitted to have feelings."

A troll who harassed his targets with internet messages gets exposed and faces punishment.  More of this, please.

Biden's first year has seen the strongest economic growth since 1984.

A look back at pre-Roe America foreshadows what the post-Roe future could look like.

Companies claim to be desperate for workers, but many are still mired in hopelessly outdated hiring practices.

"Words are not violence..... Words are instead of violence."

A covid-19 booster shot will benefit you regardless of which vaccine you get.

This is what modern feminism is fighting for.

Humans need far more rest and downtime than our present work-fixated culture allows for.

A Tennessee school district has banned Maus, the classic graphic novel about the Holocaust, supposedly because of "eight curse words".  Or maybe it just makes Nazis uncomfortable?  You know how careful we have to be these days about not offending anybody.

A federal judge in Texas has sided with the bosses and banned BNSF workers from striking against the company's dangerous and degrading attendance policy.

"Critical race theory" really is dangerously crazy -- it's not just about teaching history honestly.

Fake animal rescue videos are a horror (yes, this really happens).

Billionaires crippled and warped the development of the internet.

"Listen to transwomen."

Why is Tucker Carlson siding with Putin?

Democratic voters are losing interest in the 2022 elections, while conservatives are fired up.

Government-issued digital currency would be an enormous threat to freedom (in fact, I think this would just drive much of the economy underground, using something else as a medium of exchange).

Compare progressive views of how politics works with reality.

A woman who wants an abortion doesn't owe anybody an explanation.

Ideology-driven quacks who have mangled tens of thousands of young people are about to be called to account in court.

If Republicans are plotting another coup attempt, time is not on their side -- and they're far from united.

The US and Europe are drastically different in religiosity.

A Canadian couple who tried to protect their daughter are fighting back against defamation.

A teacher is silenced and banned from talking to colleagues on the basis of a law she clearly did not even violate.

Canada's anti-vax trucker protest will be just another super-spreader event.

When questioning official dogma becomes a crime, how can the police arrest everybody fast enough?

The "woke cult" steps into the role of medieval religion, intolerance and all.

This is not how police in a democracy behaveNor is this.  Bullshit ass-covering dissected here.  Oh, and this is completely insane.

Europe is within sight of the end of the pandemic.

He Who Zings Rats has admitted making a false statement about his role in the priestly molestation cover-up.

The Catholic Church laments a "devastating" decline in religious belief in once-devout Poland, especially among younger people.

A woman in Poland has died as a direct result of that country's draconian anti-abortion law.

The US is making no concessions to Putin's bullshit about Ukraine.  There may not be a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but that doesn't mean a US-Russia war is inevitable.  Putin has underestimated the West's resolve in standing up to him.

Mexican abortion activists plan to help women in Texas.

Islamist hatred for Israel fits a broader pattern.

Those who have lived under Islamic theocracy understand Islam best.

Call them what they are -- barbarians.

Four of India's eight largest cities are already past their omicron peak.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced, Miss Cellania, and The Honest Courtesan.

o o o o o

My only post this week was the adventures of stupid people.

25 January 2022

The adventures of stupid people

23 January 2022

Link round-up for 23 January 2022

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

o o o o o

Quite a big one indeed.

Understand computer terminology.

It's not exactly what she wanted.

This translator created a sentiment we can all share.

You're too big, Margie!

Other countries exist, you nitwits.

Unreasonable job requirement here.

Right way to serve onion rings here.

Journey through Britain's unforgettable places.

Often, weird people are just boring.

Beware the deadly Zionist dolphin.

This looks to me like an ass driving a car.

This sculpture exists (NSFW) -- it's in Prague.

Life imitates art.

If the job you're applying for asks for three references.....

Serves you effing right.

The ocean depths harbor goofy monsters.

Books are worthy of protection by medieval curses.

This entire concept has "scam" written all over it.

Some background here to a memorable Star Trek scene.

The Earth and Sun (in amine-character form) are visited by an avatar of their own future.

Different things are empowering to different people.

Don't wait -- your life is now.

Not everyone can be this brave.

Celebrate reading.

Awesome house.

This house, not so much.

This man literally has a job doing nothing.

The world that was theirs, now is ours.

Some striking tree photos here.

This is the Netherlands in 1919.

Rebuilding Notre Dame is a daunting and complex task.

The distribution of light on the Earth's surface seen from space tells us a lot about human development -- and regression.

This is how blood originated.

Should pets have the legal status of family members?

Medieval Europe was surprisingly relaxed about abortion (found via Miss Cellania).

Compare the size of the Tonga eruption with the Tsar Bomba H-bomb (the largest man-made explosion ever).

Actions matter more than words.

It was a last message to his aunt.

NFTs symbolize the ugly, boring world of art subordinated to money and gadgetry.  Here's a pretty good explanation of what they are.

Let "Barry" help you learn to be an asshole.

Identity politics made the left lose its way.

It's no longer possible for most people in poverty to escape on their own.

This story is clearly bullshit.

Blockchain/NFT dingdongs get pwned yet again.

School in-person or remote?  It's a class issue.

Tips here and here on spotting cults and cultists.  I would add that anybody who calls other people "sheeple" is probably part of a cult or cult-like belief system of some kind.

Fairy tales for adults!

Hospital standards are breaking down as unvaccinated covid-19 patients overwhelm the system.

God is such an asshole, it's a relief that he doesn't exist.

Credit-card companies, FOSTA-SESTA, and advertising are driving the shittyization of the internet.

A "Christian flag" waves from a city flagpole in Boston.  Should it?

Booster shots strongly protect against omicron.  Being vaccinated and boosted makes you up to 49 times less likely to need hospitalization relative to the unvaccinated.

Youngkin has ordered an investigation of the Loudoun county rape cover-up scandal.  Note that the school board commissioned its own investigation, but has covered up the results of that as well, though one official has been fired.

There's a political price to be paid for racial preferences.

In cases of public stupidity, mockery is appropriate.

Examples here (scroll down a bit) of the difference vaccination makes during the omicron surge.

Some insurrectionists are dumber than dirt (found via Mock Paper Scissors).

Mail-order abortion pills could checkmate the forced-birth fetishists and their laws.

Some of you may die, but that's a sacrifice we are willing to make.

Here's how the gay liberation movement was replaced by the thuggish, reactionary, big-money "LGBTQ+" insanity.

2021 saw a huge shift in American voters' political orientation, from Democrats 9 points ahead to Republicans 5 points ahead.  The efforts by some to hand-wave this away are disturbingly reminiscent of the Republicans' self-deluding dismissal of uncomfortable polls in 2012.

If you don't like what you're reading.....

Religion infiltrating schools?  Satan to the rescue!

Sensible assessment of the Lia Thomas controversy here.

The relentless shittyization of work made the Great Resignation inevitable.

Time to start making anti-mask assholes pay for the disruptions they cause.

Real-world data are showing that some of the basic accepted dogmas of economics aren't true.

Proposed legislation in California threatens protections for sex workers on the internet (found via The Honest Courtesan).

Being an atheist involves social and occupational costs in most of the US, but if you really don't believe, you don't have much choice.

Twitter is escalating its war against women who tell the truth.

No job interviewer should ever ask you these questions.

Hundreds of women are pushing back against forced hijab-wearing in Islam -- and against Western "woke" morons who treat the hijab as a sign of "diversity".

This guy claims he hacked into 25 Tesla cars remotely, taking partial control of them.

The "supply chain" we keep hearing about is made up of workers, who suffer from covid-19 and management abuse just as other workers do.

Most Americans support women's right to single-sex spaces and sports teams, and support rises as the public becomes more aware of the issue.  Key survey results here.

Ken Ham spews bullshit about atheism.

The world's ten richest men have doubled their wealth during the pandemic, while most people saw a drop in income.

Even if you don't get covid-19, the prolonged stress of the pandemic is very damaging.

Yet another example of what they keep telling us never happens (hint: one word in the first line of the story is a lie).

It's all the Taco Bell guy's fault.

Don't obfuscate the reality of what happened at the Colleyville TX synagogue.

Corporate greed is behind the push to prematurely re-open schools (here in Oregon, the state government is also weirdly gung-ho on this).

There is also a pandemic of grief.

Will no one think of the poor oppressed child rapist?

Cracking down on the anti-vaxers is now a winning strategy in most democracies.

One of the best things we could to for the climate would be to eradicate cryptocurrency mining.

Europe vs the US -- who's doing better?

One of several women prison inmates who was raped by a male inmate transferred into her prison is speaking out.

The British navy now has its first woman admiral.

Boris Johnson's may lose his job as prime minister over his attendance at parties that broke the pandemic-control rules his government had imposed on the general public.  Seems British political parties have less tolerance for such hypocrisy than American ones do.

Australia is an increasingly important front-line state in the coalition of democracies against China.

Greenland has permanently banned all oil and gas exploration to fight global warming.

He Who Zings Rats was involved in the shielding of molesting priests (like there was ever much doubt).

Eastern European countries which escaped the tyranny of the Soviet gangster-state now naturally support Taiwan against another such state.

Putin is becoming as belligerent, irresponsible, and dangerous as Trump was.

Turkey's once-booming economy has collapsed, plunging millions into poverty, under Erdoğan's failed Islamist authoritarian government.

Afghanistan's Taliban theocracy intensifies its efforts to purge women from public life.

A woman in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Analysis here on the consequences of son preference and sex-selective abortion in Asia.

In Japan, religion is largely frowned upon because it's associated with brainwashing, manipulation, war, and terrorism.  (But religion causes those things everywhere in the world -- maybe the Japanese are just more perceptive than other people?)

South Korea's upcoming election offers the country a choice between fascist China and the democratic world.

More and more people are trying to leave China.  And the country's birth rate is still falling despite the regime's frantic efforts to boost it.

Think US pandemic-control measures are "tyranny"?  China does this and this.

More links at The Honest Courtesan, Fair and Unbalanced, and The Psy of Life.

o o o o o

My own posts this week:  a new "improving words" list, a video by Dr Steel, and a quick final eye update.

22 January 2022

Eye update -- hopefully final

I went back to the ophthalmologists yesterday.  Two doctors examined me and concurred that the retina repair looks very good.  The blurred vision in that eye is also almost completely cleared up.

I have a follow-up appointment in a month, but hopefully this is the end of this rather frightening and traumatic episode.

20 January 2022

Video of the day -- Dr Steel Back and Forth

This video is from 2009.  "Dr Steel" was an independent musician and internet/YouTube personality with a dedicated following, influenced by steampunk and transhumanism.  After twelve years of activity, he abruptly disappeared in 2011 from the scene he had created.  His fan organization, the "Army of Toy Soldiers", still exists and promotes his philosophy; some of the members appear on his screen in this video.

18 January 2022

Improving words (24)

Some more revised word definitions, based on what the words visibly should mean based on spelling.....

Bitterness:  A female seabird made of small units of data

Clamping:  When a shelled mollusc tests its access to your website

Determine:  To scare away a buried explosive

Disheartened:  Edward who can stack almost a dozen plates on his organ of hearing

Dispose:  To insult the way someone stands

Dunning-Kruger:  Efforts to collect on a debt from the nightmarish Freddy

Everest:  The mountain where a mythical first woman sleeps

Forsake:  In favor of a Japanese alcoholic drink

Hottentots:  Almost a dozen small children who are very warm

Huntress:  A barbarian's hair

Novice:  A lack of guilty pleasures, or water that freezes just before December

Omission:  An emission of omicron viruses, as by a sneeze or cough

Omnipresent:  To feel peeved at being pinched while reciting a mantra

Patronage:  The period of life when you stroke people named Ronald

Pilates:  The family of a Roman judge

Polemic:  A microphone in the middle of either Antarctica or the Arctic Sea

Rationally:  A friend of a rodent's atom which is missing some of its electrons

Respectable:  A piece of furniture where you get your glasses back

Seepage:  To view one leaf of a book

Shadow:  A cry of pain upon being slapped with a fish

Solvent:  An aperture which can be opened to cool down the Sun

Validated:  Valerie, with whom I used to go out

Whippoorwill:  To flog a low-quality testament

[The previous "improving words" post is here.]

16 January 2022

Link round-up for 16 January 2022

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

o o o o o

Horse bones!

A dastardly attack.

I came, I saw, I farted.

Let God's tech support identify the problem.

So that's what happened to Clippy.

Anti-vaxers have a new covid-19 "treatment" to try (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).  More here.

That could have been worded better.

A woman with many cats challenges them with an even greater number of fans.

Neglecting the needs of elephants has unfortunate consequences.

Here's why gays make better neighbors than religious nuts.

Titanic passengers demand their freedumb (found via Miss Cellania).

Gadgetry fixation ruins everything (found via Calvin).

People waited in line seven hours to buy this (found via Cas d'intérêt).  Let's hope voting inspires similar dedication.

This person exists.

These people exist.

These abominations exist.

See a silicone color mixer at work.

Hear one of the greatest movie songs ever in 25 languages.

Some interesting observations on costume design here.

Take in an aerial view of Rome -- in 360 CE.

Things that look close together in the sky usually aren't.

This is Manarola in northern Italy.

France's president Macron deals with les non-vaccinés emmerdants with tough love and tough use of the French language.

Learn how the Intangible Sludge took over American movies.

Stay ad-free, stay free.

Old photos remind us of what the recent past was really like.

Attributing UFOs to aliens is a secular version of the "God of the gaps" fallacy.

The "Amazon smile" charitable-donation system may not be entirely on the level.

Pregnant women vaccinated against covid-19 pass on some immunity to their newborns.

2021 was a year of progress for sex workers' rights in the US.

"Bridging programs" seek to defuse US political polarization, not by changing minds but by reducing hatred and risks of violence.

Students in Oakland CA have started a petition demanding that schools return to remote learning unless they can be made genuinely safe from covid-19.

This woman escaped a ghastly fundamentalist family environment.

When a website is this tiresome to visit, why even bother?

Two compounds found in hemp, already known to be safe in humans, show promise in fighting covid-19 (found via Mock Paper Scissors).

Blogger Wondering Eagle has an open letter to anti-vax evangelicals.

I am so, so glad I got out of academia.

Republican senator Tom Cotton is pushing a bill to stop the transfer of male inmates into women's prisons (discussion here).  If Republicans are the only ones willing to fight against this horrific, rape-enabling policy, Democrats shouldn't be surprised when they lose growing numbers of women voters.

This tweet packs a lot of truth.

Maybe anti-vaxers really are just stupid assholes.

In a cold and uncaring society that sees people merely as producers and consumers, fewer people are choosing to have children (found via Miss Cellania).  The pandemic is the last straw.

"Quitting is not failure.  It is the admission that I can no longer do something."

Here are some tips on handling depression and suicide prevention.

Green Eagle is back with another huge round-up of wingnut lunacy.

Get vaccinated, dammit (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).

Sex trafficking exists, but alarmists vastly exaggerate the scale of the problem.

NYT executives are shitty, hypocritical union-busters.

Break free from the fetishization of victimhood and grievance (interesting observation about Cuba as well).

A poll of US voters on autocracy gives a mixed bag of results:  75% agree that it's important to protect the rights of protesters, but 64% want to "eliminate troublemakers"; 80% say women should not be expected to be submissive to their husbands; 56% don't want to see more protests for minority rights and 54% value law and order above civil rights, but 58% admire those who challenge "the law and the majority's view" by protesting; 66% say we need "free thinkers who..... defy traditional ways"; most encouragingly of all, 86% agree that "everyone should have their own lifestyle, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences, even if it makes them different from everyone else", and 81% that there is no one right way to live life.

Here's a possible explanation for Kyrsten Sinema's behavior.

We need to re-think local control of education.

Guidance here on buying and using N95 masks, including a warning about counterfeits.

Arrogant narcissism makes enemies.

A relative of Holocaust victims responds to an anti-vax congressman's stupid Nazi analogy (found via Hackwhackers).

Efforts to ban abortion are hypocritical and dangerous.

Extremism and intolerance often turn people against the cause the extremists are supporting.

Infection with the common cold can confer some limited protection against covid-19 (the two viruses are related, though not closely).

New Jersey acts to protect abortion rights; Florida attacks them.

The Loudoun county rapist has been sentenced.  The school officials who covered up the rapes and the media assholes who downplayed the story are, unfortunately, not likely to suffer any serious consequences.

Don't fetishize bipartisanship.

Omicron is hitting the US harder than Europe, largely due to our lower vaccination rate.

A new low-cost vaccine from Texas should be a game-changer for lower-income countries.

Mr Menno and a "woman of no importance" respond to Boy George's "goddess energy" nonsense.

Other Western countries don't coddle anti-vaxers like the US does.

In eastern Europe, too, religious nuts and covid-19 super-spreader events go together.

Iran's failed theocratic regime tries to suppress news reporting on the embarrassing problem of mass poverty.

Religion strikes again:  in India, millions cram together in disregard of covid-19 precautions for a Hindu festival which will inevitably become a super-spreader event.

In China, 44% of young women and 25% of young men don't plan to get married.  Even among the married, many don't plan to have children.

The Chinese regime tolerates no dissent on its policy of suppressing minority languages.

Reminiscent of the Taliban and the Bamiyan Buddhas, the Chinese regime is systematically destroying culturally-important Tibetan structures, often forcing Tibetan monks and civilians to watch.

More links at Perfect Number, Fair and Unbalanced, and The Honest Courtesan.

o o o o o

My only substantive post this week was on signs that the US is less politically polarized than it seems (got quite a few intelligent comments on this one); there were also a couple of updates on my eye problems.

14 January 2022

Eye update (2)

Went back to the ophthalmologist this afternoon.  They decided I needed another laser treatment to shore up the results of the cryo treatment on Monday.  This involved another injection in the eyeball followed by a long period of laser zapping which ended up being pretty painful, though not as bad as the cryo treatment on Monday was.

The blurred vision, at least, is about 80% cleared up compared with how it was when it started on Saturday, so it doesn't interfere as much with my internet activities.  That problem was always expected to clear up on its own, though.  The procedures the doctors are doing are intended to fix the torn place in the retina so it doesn't result in retinal detachment.

As icing on the cake, the usual trolls have been especially active this week, with even more personal viciousness and nastiness than usual.  Evidently it's even more fun bashing somebody who's already going through a difficult time.  That's just the kind of people they are.

13 January 2022

Not so polarized?

The above graphic (found via Darwinfish 2) summarizes some of the data from this survey.  Not surprisingly given the current polarized climate, large numbers of people say they wouldn't date or otherwise associate with someone who supports the "other side" politically.  What was most striking to me, though, was how much lower the "would not" numbers are on the Republican side.

This seems counter-intuitive.  The right-wing blogosphere endlessly brands left-wingers as commies, libtards, perverts, traitors to "real America", etc -- if you read it at all, you've seen what I mean.  Right-wing "news" websites are somewhat less insulting toward liberals as persons, but still generally presuppose a state of bitter conflict between two irreconcilable camps, with the enemy (us) being depraved fiends who must be defeated at all costs.  So how is it possible that 69% of Republicans (among college students, anyway), would at least consider dating such monsters?

Remember, though, that those who follow the political blogosphere (right or left) or consume highly-ideological media (Hannity, Maddow, Fox, Daily Kos, etc) are a very small fraction of the total US population.  The extreme polarization does exist, but it may well be concentrated in the most visible and active minority on both sides, with such hostility being lower among the broad mass of people who are less engaged with politics.  After all, it makes sense that those who are most focused on politics, most dogmatic in their stances, and most convinced of the evil of the "other side", would be most likely to seek out media with similar views or to write political blogs.

It will be objected that this was a survey of college students specifically, who are more likely to be open-minded.  But in my experience, it's younger people who are more prone to black-and-white thinking, more dogmatically certain of the correctness of their views, more likely to demonize those who think differently as bigots, haters, Nazis, commies, etc.  The capacity for nuance, for questioning one's own assumptions, for seriously considering the viewpoint of an opponent, etc, seem to develop with maturity.  Of course a substantial number of people never mature in this sense (and it's from among those people that the highly polarized, politically-engaged minority is drawn), but many do.  So it's at least possible that the general population, particularly on the right, resembles the surveyed college students in being much less hateful and polarized than our media and internet landscape suggests.

That's not to say, of course, that the 69% of right-wing students who would consider dating a liberal are completely open-minded and ready to join in a round of kumbaya-singing with the left.  It's more likely that they still consider left-wing political views completely wrong-headed, but merely attach far less importance to political views in evaluating a potential partner (or in life generally) than highly-ideological people do.  But this would still be a hopeful sign that the problem of polarized attitudes is less daunting than we picture it.

Just as one data point, my own posts last year expressing disgust with the "woke" lunacy on the left (such as this one) provoked a flurry of supportive e-mails from readers who never post comments here or, as best I can tell, express their views in public forums at all -- and the first one swearing off politics as a routine topic here led to only about a 15% drop in weekly page views (which has since recovered).  And as best I can tell, my readership doesn't skew particularly young.

I'm not saying that the situation is truly symmetrical.  Lunatic-fringe views are more dangerous and more widespread (and have more of a grip on actual politicians) on the right than on the left, though the gap is clearly narrowing.  But it's a difference of degree.

It would hardly be surprising if growing numbers of normal people are as exhausted and repulsed by the scorched-earth, all-out-war, the-other-side-is-absolute-evil mentality of the US political sphere these days as I am, and want to disengage from it, especially in their personal lives -- and that they are also increasingly aware that the "other side" is less of a problem than the minorities of extremist crazies on both sides.

o o o o o

The soreness and blurred vision in my right eye are slowly improving -- too slowly, but clearly improving.  I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow afternoon.

10 January 2022

Eye update

This has not been a pleasant day.

I got back from the ophthalmologist a few hours ago.  The root of my problem turned out to be a small torn place in the right retina.  This presents a serious risk of retinal detachment (which would mean blindness in that eye), so the doctor recommended immediate treatment to repair the tear.  Preparation for this included an injection of anesthetic directly into the eyeball, which was about as disagreeable as it sounds.  The first treatment did not work, so he switched to another method.  It was rather painful despite the anesthetic.  However, it did succeed in repairing the tear.  My eye is still sore and irritated.  Going back on Friday for follow-up.  The visual blurring is slowly clearing up.

09 January 2022

Link round-up for 9 January 2022

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

o o o o o

Always revolve, Malvolios.

To cut up a pear, use an apple slicer.

Hellish journey.

Effective advertising makes it clear what the product should do.

Imperialist squirrels bedevil Murr Brewster.

Some heroes don't wear capes.

Model for replying to Putin?  Here's how Ukrainians in 1676 responded to another foreign tyrant who demanded their submission.

Be careful with line breaks in captions.

Astrology in reverse might be entertaining.

Mr Menno does the "non-binary" thing.

Meet a skilled giraffe.

Where do women come from?

Where do swans come from?

Too dumb to even hate correctly.

It matters how you arrange donuts (found via Dumb White Guy).

Why do anti-vaxers not lock their bikes?

Know your wingnuts.

"Creepy"?  Idiots.  It's beautiful.

Just get vaccinated.

It's good advice at any time.

See how many people are asleep at each hour of the day (found via SickoRicko).

It's OK to ignore the "holiday season".

How many legs does a millipede have?

You may have seen this baby.

Interesting little monster tale here.

Stop-motion animation from 1981 depicts dinosaurs surprisingly well.

If your internal organs could talk, what would they say to you?

Carol Seidl assesses her blogging and reading year, and has some book recommendations.

Be prepared in case you get stuck in the snow in your car.

That's a big wave.

I am immortal.

This is Ganymede.

See color photos of Paris from more than a century ago.

Reclaim your mind while you still can.

It's always possible to make air travel even worse.

If you have Norton antivirus or VPN, get rid of it -- it may be sneakily using your computer for cryptocurrency "mining".

It's an ideal restaurant for anti-maskers (found via Octoberfarm).

Here's why the mobs of thugs have been tearing down statues of Frederick Douglass.

Fight back against shitty bosses.  And if you get fired, go out in style.

Darwinfish 2 looks at dating across the political divide.  Amusingly, his blog was once banned in Bahrain.

If you really want to give people freedom.....

We have to have one religion.

Lots of good info here on N95 masks, including where to order each kind.

Here's what happened when a Muslim woman said hijab should be a matter of choice.

Use a variety of news sources -- bias is more subtle and widespread than you think.

"Homosexuality is unnatural....."

No, Rowling is not an anti-Semite.

For the first time, a US nuclear aircraft carrier is sailing under the command of a woman.

A lot of teens are trying to get vaccinated despite anti-vax parents.

The senile old dickhead is babbling nonsense again.

Evidently I'm not the only one who's getting used to life via computer cables.

This is what it's like trying to use a medical system overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid-19 patients.  Burr Deming had somewhat better luck, but his area's hospitals are swamped too.

You can't hide a picture on the internet.

This person literally wishes the communists had murdered even more people.

Hispanic leaders and groups call on Anglos to stop using "Latinx".

Cyber Ninjas (the Arizona "election audit" clowns) is now going out of business rather than pay huge fines for failing to surrender documents related to the "audit" as ordered by a judge.

Libertarian covid-19 propaganda is a mish-mash of dangerous illogic.

Some Republican senators seem ready to support some reform of the Electoral Count Act.

Once again, gender awakening leads to a torrent of threats.

Data from South Africa and the UK suggest that omicron surges in any country are likely to be short-lived.

2021 was a year of labor militancy and many victories.

An ex-evangelical considers what a US theocracy would be like (found via Silverapplequeen).

QAnon qrackpot fought the vaccine and the virus won (found via Mock Paper Scissors).  And no, that wasn't anthrax.

Biden's January 6 speech (highlights here, full transcript here, video here) was strikingly blunt and explicit in condemning the violent insurrection and Trump's role in it.  More like this, please.  And if he's so confident in describing Trump as guilty of flat-out sedition, maybe he knows something we don't about evidence to support an upcoming prosecution.

This must be the most shitty, totalitarian pro-censorship post I've ever seen that wasn't written by an outright fascist or Islamist.  Extensive discussion here, and remember to be thankful every day that we have the First Amendment in this country.

The claim that "there is no compulsion" in Islam is a flat-out lie, and the blogger learned a lot while researching the issue.

Watch how covid-19 in the US became a Republican disease.

Even some evangelicals are backing down a bit on the doctrine of Hell.  Not even they can stomach the horror and evil of their own religion.

Illinois is sneaking violent male inmates into a women's prison without public notice; one has already raped several female inmates (and one victim was punished for reporting it).  This is madness.

If you believe that "overpopulation" is real, here's something you can do about it.

Watch out for these internet defamation methods.

Beware of arguments rooted in bogus analogies.

Data on omicron suggest the end of the pandemic is in sight.

If something on the internet outrages you, you are probably being manipulated.

Absence of government is not freedom -- it just leaves you at the mercy of other powerful forces.

Democrats are on course for disaster in this year's election.

Capitalism demands human sacrifice.

"In a world where subjectivism rules, chaos follows."

Why is democracy in danger in so many countries?  Rigid ideology, too many factions (including minor parties in some countries), and failure to deal with mass immigration are among the problems.

The UN is a travesty.

Lesbian Fightback is ready to, well, fight back.

The Australian state of Victoria plans to decriminalize sex work over the next two years.

Europe's airlines are flying thousands of empty planes from airport to airport purely to satisfy stupid regulations.

France won't put up with social-media companies' bullshit.  The US, on the other hand.....

Charlie Hebdo magazine interviews Kathleen Stock (in English).  The 2015 terrorist attack hasn't tamed them at all.

Putin is sending troops to help prop up the pro-Russian government in Kazakhstan against pro-democracy protesters.

The final solution!

There's money to be made from maintaining a state of conflict.

The Iranian regime put up a statue of Qassem Soleimani, and within hours it was destroyed.

China pioneers nightmare currency, although actually much of the country seems to be reverting to barter.  Some other governments are also pushing this idea.

Covid-19 is reversing years of progress made by women in Kenya (the same is probably true across much of Africa).

More links at The Honest Courtesan -- more here.

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My own posts this week:  the ten most important stories of 2021, my usual best posts of the year list, the return of Yellowdog Granny, and a discussion of options if my own blog ever disappears.

o o o o o

More eye problems -- Saturday morning the vision in my right eye turned cloudy and blurry, so much so that I essentially can't see out of it (I can literally barely read lettering two inches high with it at a range of six inches), though the left eye remains normal.  Made an emergency trip to the ophthalmologists.  They think they know what the problem is, and if they're right, it's not dangerous but could take a couple of weeks to clear up.  I am going back Monday for another test.  Needless to say, having only one eye really working is very distracting and aggravating.  I'm posting this round-up because it was all done already -- they're written little by little over the whole week -- but posts next week will depend on whether I can get used to the blurring enough to write.