31 October 2022


It's here!

Treat yourself to a few all-in-good-fun scares.....

.....even if not everyone chooses to play along.

After all, it's the American way.....

.....so accept no substitutes!

Just relax.....

.....and let the magic happen.

Break out all your best stuff.....

.....and get ready to party!

And when it's all over, have a good rest.

After all, it's only 365 days until Halloween!

[Science trick-or-treater and aliens with suspicious treats made by Pliny; be sure to check out the Emma Crawford coffin races at Lady M's Halloween blog.  A while back, I posted on the origins of Halloween.]

30 October 2022

Link round-up for 30 October 2022

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

o o o o o

See how pencil sharpeners really work.

Toast?  Bah.  Jesus appeared to her in a fruit (from NickM).

Now this is how you play billiards.

Meet Jucika, a somewhat educational Hungarian comic strip from the 1950s.

The Headington roof shark is now safe.

Don't eat outside (notice the sign at the very end).

If "the rapture" ever happens, it might be this.

Obviously a crazy person.

Disney does Halloween -- and remains Disney.

25 years later, the Harry Potter books are more popular than ever.  From Thailand, there's a new anniversary edition with great new illustrations.

Crazy Eddie has Halloween songs from The Harp Twins and Broken Peach.

Some skeletons look their best at night.  More skeletons here, and a link to vote for the best one.

Always remember that not everyone on the internet is American.  The other 96% of the world is there as well.

These abominations exist; in fact, they're everywhere (found via Miss Cellania).

Some great sky photos here.

The Earth has more tree cover today than it had twenty years ago.

Planets with atmospheres are probably be a lot rarer than we thought.

Cells which are unambiguously dead can sometimes be brought back to life.

Assholes get pwned.

Some good security tips here.

If you use PayPal, read this.

Spanking kids causes problems.

You still see what you cannot forget.

These Russians exist (found via Hackwhackers).

In 2001, a pastor in New Mexico organized a book-burning, with JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien among the authors targeted (from NickM).

Here's the latest on Salman Rushdie.  It's bad.

Oregon's leading newspaper was promoting virulent racism during the nineteenth century.

Gas prices fall, Democrats rise.

A fervent and life-long Republican voter makes the switch.  An activist talks about why he did the same.

Don't let social pressure distort your sense of political reality.

Live by the dumbth, die by the dumbth.

It's the most important election ever -- again.

"Accessory dwelling units" may help with the affordable housing crisis, at least in California.

Fixing the environment can take time.

Here are some statistics and links on early voting, updated daily.  So far this is not looking like a "normal" midterm election.  These numbers look encouraging for Democrats (found via Hackwhackers).

Utterly disgusting.

Christianity is an apocalypse cult.

People who want to abolish the police can't coherently explain how it would work.

Stop worrying about the polls and vote.

Most Americans support merit-based college admissions.

Crime is a potent issue for Republicans, making the race for New York governor surprisingly close.

The number of shootings here in Portland has tripled in the last three years.  I suspect the huge rise in violence and vandalism is the reason why our race for governor is neck-and-neck in this normally blue state.

Gresham (a medium-size city just east of Portland) turns to roving surveillance cameras to fight the crime wave.

"This certainty that one moral framework is so absolutely right that society has the right to hold everybody accountable to it has been pervasive throughout human history but it has not produced any societies that most of us would like to live in."

We need to rein in corporate greed.

Vandalism won't advance a cause.  Just the opposite.

Economists worry about Republicans winning the House.

Amazon responds callously to the brutal death of a delivery driver.

"They're not doing these surgeries on minors" -- yes they are.

Many Americans are losing interest in covid boosters.  It's not a good sign.

If Republicans take the House, it would be very unwise for them to impeach Biden.

Voting matters, even if you're gerrymandered.

What would a "Christian nation" mean?

Republicans have a long track record of opposing women's equality.

71% of Americans believe that democracy is in danger, but there's no consensus about what that means.

Kanye "Ye" West samples a very old tune.

Democrats need to fight smarter in Arizona.

At last, it looks like housing will become a little more affordable.

The House prog Ukraine appeasement letter was a huge blunder.  And the "we wrote it in June and released it by accident" cover story isn't very plausible.

Some ideas here for keeping democracy viable in an age of lies and polarization.

Democrats are still losing working-class voters (and no, not only white ones).

The US is not short of oil.  High prices are the result of oil-company policies.

Activists in Canada expose more meat-industry horrors.

The UK's new prime minister supports women's rights.

Britain's National Health Service returns to sanity on treatment for trans minors.  Discussion here.

Europe is well prepared to disregard Putin's energy blackmail.  It now has a surplus of natural gas.  The war has boosted the development of clean energy.

Some of Putin's right-wing admirers are repudiating him.

A moderate-right blogger speculates on the end of the Ukraine war.  If the aid we've sent takes Russia down, it will be a bargain.

This week saw continued massive protests in Iran despite the regime's efforts to crack down.

A detainee describes the horrors of the regime's torture chambers.

See Iranians knock mullahs' turbans off to show their disdain for their oppressors.

The regime seems to think the people need its permission.

Brazil is holding a presidential election this weekend.

China sees a rare and daring public act of protest.

More links at Angry Bear and Miss Cellania.

My own posts this week:  polling uncertainty, the world we live in, and a video on China's high-tech façade.

o o o o o

28 October 2022

Video of the day -- high-tech façade

If you don't look too closely, China appears to be a technologically-advanced country -- it just isn't.  As discussed here, the totalitarian regime is able to curate and fine-tune the country's image in ways a democracy would not, and could not.  In the video above, SerpentZA explains how even in products stamped "made in China", the really sophisticated components were usually made elsewhere, in Japan or Germany or Taiwan or the US -- democracies.  Given how the Biden administration's recent sanctions are likely to impact China's tech industry, the regime can probably kiss its high-tech façade goodbye.

[The period from 0:28 to 1:27 is an ad, if you prefer to skip it.]

26 October 2022

The world we live in

Evil exists, but evil can be defeated.