04 February 2024

Link round-up for 4 February 2024

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

o o o o o

Cats are goofballs.

Biblical cartoons here.

This appears to be a cat hotel.

You will believe a man can fly.  Or maybe not.

When playing miniature golf, make sure you have a goalkeeper.

Exercise is dangerous.

You stole my fish!

That'll teach you some manners, jackass.

When is it OK to urinate in public?

Next time, pay attention to the sign (found via Miss Cellania).

Of all the lines you could wait in, this is easily the stupidest.

Here's how to fix holes in clothes so it looks good -- this would only work with pretty small holes, though.

What kind of animal would you expect to see in a cave?

Dementia research may be on the wrong track.

This is Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

You can sign up here for virtual guided tours in Israel.

It's just a winter day in Norway.

What happens when a tsunami hits?

See a thunderstorm in Argentina.

In case you thought Hollywood had learned its lesson about crap woke remakes of classic movies -- well, it hasn't.

"AI" is being used to make fake Australian Aborigine art for sale, based on the work of real Aborigine artists and cutting into their income.

Artists can use the software tools Glaze and Nightshade to protect their work from "AI" scrapers.  More here.

Brian Lumley has died.

Yes, Hitler did sometimes use the phrase "make Germany great again", though not as a slogan.

If this had really happened, it would have been the most evil genocide ever.

This is the true face of Islam.

"Put the apocalypse down, and back away slowly."

Even Tumblr bloggers recognize that Biden deserves more credit.

"AI" can't replace humans, but it's reached the point that stupid people believe it can replace humans.

"They are not your enemy.  They are victims."

Wingnuts now claim the Super Bowl is being rigged to give Taylor Swift more publicity.  Yeah, Taylor Swift needs help getting publicity.  They claim that endorsing Biden would hurt her popularity (although doing so in 2020 didn't).  Rich Lowry, at least, wants them to stop the hate.  Talk like "punish that bitch" and "holy war" won't help win back all the women voters driven away by forced-birthism.  Maybe they're still mad because she turned out not to be the stealth Nazi of their fantasies.  But all this is not new -- shitty ideologists have long hated her.

The Biden campaign recognizes Swift's potential importance in the race.

This person exists (note:  gruesome).

This is the most Orwellian phrase of our time.

Social media are destroying real community.

Radical "protesters" continue their campaign to turn everyone against them.

Maybe we're teaching math wrong (well, I kind of have to take his word for it -- I never got beyond basic algebra).

Richard Dawkins talks biological common sense, thus providing cover for others.

One year after the East Palestine train derailment, the local people continue to suffer rashes, breathing problems, and other symptoms, while government officials and the railway company refuse to take them seriously.

Federal authorities need to do more to protect women in states with forced-birth laws.

The evangelical response to sexual abuse is calculated to reinforce patriarchy, shield abusers, and shift blame onto victims.

The parasite oligarch class has made its peace with Trump.

An Oregon high school coach resigns rather than participate in the wrecking of girls' sports.

Pope Francis's recent document permitting clergy to bless same-sex couples is creating painful divisions within the Catholic Church.

New variants of the old anti-Jewish blood libels are spreading on the internet.

Ed Pierson says he wouldn't fly on a 737 Max.  And he should know -- he used to be a senior manager at Boeing overseeing the manufacturing of them.

Time to drop the incoherent and self-contradicting LGBTQIwhatever acronym.  Here's a rather more blunt assessment.

House Republicans playing politics with aid to Ukraine and Israel is a fundamental betrayal which shames the United States.

The progs are bringing back denialism and excuse-making about rape.

Jewish students rethink applying to Nazi-infested universities.

Obscene corporate profits are keeping the workers who produce that wealth poor.

No, Trump won't be able to establish a dictatorship even if he becomes president again.

As far back as 1954, the fossil-fuel industry knew CO2 emissions could lead to dangerous global warming.

This Oregon legislator believes that non-Christians shouldn't be in government (Oregon is one of the least religious states in the US.

Biden has signed an executive order imposing sanctions on four West Bank settlers accused of violence.  There must be tens of thousands (at least) of individuals worldwide who are equally or more violent, but once again Jews are singled out, held to standards not imposed on anyone else.

Fewer and fewer voters now identify as Democrats or Republicans.

New York police have thwarted a Nazi plot to shut down JFK Airport on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The world's two biggest economies are moving in opposite directions.

Even the Guardian is starting to recognize the reality of the bullying and harassment deployed by gender ideology against its critics.

The Protestant Church of Germany harbors thousands of sex abusers among its clergy.

The president of France commits to supporting Ukraine even if the US falters.  The EU has approved a €50 billion aid package and is working toward using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

The Putinite rot spreads -- right-wing parties in Hungary and Romania advocate seizing territory from adjacent countries.

Here's why Russian warplanes bomb their own territory.

The Ukraine war is changing in character, but Russia's weaknesses will still prove decisive.

As Israel helps Gazans escape the war zone and Hamas obstructs them, Gazans more openly call for the overthrow of Hamas.

It's been known for years that UNRWA was a cesspit of genocidal anti-Semitic indoctrination.  The participation of some of its agents in the October 7 attack should come as no surprise.  And no, it's not just "a few bad apples".

Not content with using hospitals and schools as military bases, Hamas had a command center under a cemetery.

Gold-buying surges in China as economic confidence collapses.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced and WAHF.

My posts this week:  some truths and inspirations, and an exploration of fantasy political violence.

If any links in this round-up are paywalled or require a log-in to view, please let me know so I can avoid linking to that site in the future.  To suggest an item for inclusion in the next link round-up, you can use the e-mail address in my profile, or if you don't want to use e-mail, leave it in a comment to the previous link round-up.

o o o o o

"If you accuse someone, expect that they will immediately retaliate.  We're wired to growl back if someone growls first."

Getting a tax refund is a bad thing, not a good thing.  It means you've been making an interest-free loan to the government all year.

Arguments from authority do not legitimize obvious nonsense.  Even if a guy is the greatest mathematician in the world, I'm not going to believe him if he says 2+2=5.

(Found via Reaganite Independent)

(Found via Dead Wild Roses)


Blogger NickM said...

Yeah, Taylor Swift is clearly desperate for publicity! In fact quite the reverse. She's very savvy and probably wants to avoid burning her brand (and herself) out.

The Republicans are making complete arses of themselves here. They're frightened of... a pop singer. Yeah, a very good pop-singer but...

God knows what Ayatollah Hamashouthiputin makes of this!

I don't follow NFL at all but is it just possible the Kansas City Chiefs got to the Superbowl because they're a very good team?

Otherwise, it is tin-foil hattery time.

04 February, 2024 02:55  
Blogger NickM said...

The math teaching link requires a log-in to tumblr... Jus' sayin' as you asked.

I've got way too many log-ins anyway...

The need for virtual tours of Israel are tragic*. For a couple of years Israel was gonna be my big post-Covid etc... holiday. I put it off (a pricey jaunt for me anyway - so easy to defer...) and now a bunch of fuckwits in Gaza... Pisses me off. Yeah, I know... It's not like my sister is being kept in a dungeon as a sex-slave by deranged lunatics who are raping for Allah but...

Yes, I do have a point, sort of. This isn't just Israel/Palestine. Hamas and their chums in Iran and Qatar and wherever have jacked this up to global importance (and therefore global risk) to a staggering extent. The attacks on Red Sea shipping is intolerable. the USN (and RAF) are not the ones escalating this because we simply cannot put-up with this interference with freedom of navigation. And yes, me getting cheap computer kit is much more important than the glory of Allah. Apart from anything else hard disks and RAM chips are real...

Less, solipsistically. The Freedom of Navigation is a noble principle worth fighting for. Islam isn't. Any belief system that reacts to even the faintest slight by automatically going full-on goblin-mode cranked to 11 is a crock of Sh'ite.

*I dunno about the US but oddly enough the Israeli tourist board spent the first half of 2023 heavily advertisng on UK TV. One of the ads featured the line, "Jersalem - a city where a rabbi, an imam and a priest are in a cafe... isn't the start of a bad joke". I am not making this up.

04 February, 2024 03:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: At some point the Republicans' propensity to make fools of themselves over things like this must surely reach critical mass. Certainly they've picked the wrong target this time. Swift (and probably the Superbowl) have a lot more avid fans than any politician or party.

Thanks for the tip about the math link. I changed it to a different blog which "re-blogged" the same post but doesn't seem to need a login.

From time to time I've thought about going to Israel, but the ongoing terrorism problem is a real concern. Certainly now it would be.

The Houthis have certainly unified a lot of people against them. India and China are acting against them as well. Most major countries value freedom of navigation. We need to be decisive and knock them out of action, though. An endless round of tit-for-tat would be worse than useless. Same with the retaliation for the attack in Syria. We need to see some rubble in Tehran with dead mullahs in it. Most Iranians would probably cheer.

04 February, 2024 04:23  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I've never had a cat but my daughter did and he even got along with my dog.
The last animal I was expecting to see in the cave was an elephant.
My daughter was mad she was only getting back $20 in taxes this year until someone told her what you said about that was good since it meant the government didn't get an interest free loan all year.

04 February, 2024 13:04  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Can I mention something from an article you linked to this week that is of very little comfort to me:

"no, another four years of Trump is not enough time to turn America into a dictatorship.... With a concerted effort by Trump, the incubation period could be squeezed into eight more consecutive years, but not four."

Really, I fear that if Trump manipulates his way back into office, he (or at least his successors) will have all the years he wants, because we will never have a fair election again. The intent is there, as he has said over and over again; put him back in the White House and nothing could save us but his own incompetence, and that is a thin thing on which to base our hopes.

04 February, 2024 13:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary K: Well, there used to be cave men, so I suppose there can be cave elephants too.....

People seem to think of tax refunds as free money that comes out of nowhere. It actually comes from their own paycheck withholding.

Green: It's the other way around. In one presidential term, Trump won't have time to turn the government into a dictatorship, meaning he won't have time to abolish elections or turn them into a meaningless charade.

04 February, 2024 20:38  
Blogger NickM said...

Right. Now that I've read the thing on maths education (thanks for re-jigging that!) I'm interested. It was not what I expected and it is certainly not exactly where I think the problem lies...

The primary thing that maths education (schools, not further ed) struggles with is purpose. What is it for? Unlike teaching languages (both mother-tongue and foreign) most people will very rarely use maths in "real life" beyond some pretty basic operations. A small number of course... Even then...

It's a mess because of that and because a lot of curricula are designed to meet political aims. How many times have you heard a politico (who probs has no more maths than you Infidel) say things like, "We have a generation who can't make change" or "The average 6th grader is 3 years behind the Chinese* cohort in maths".

I could write an essay on this but this is neither the time nor the place.

But I'll leave you with one thought... Very few primary school teachers have any real grasp or understanding of the maths they teach. so they focus on stuff like rote learning of times tables and following algorithmic processess like the dreaded long division. I'm of an age where US "New Math" vaguely intruded on into the primary curriculum. I didn't really get that approach because, looking back, neither did the teachers. I now understand where, however misguided in application that idea was, where it was coming from. I had to do a physics degree with a strong minor in formal logic to grok it.

I will write more on this. Somewhere else. And when I have the time because it is very important.

*Currently China. This shifts. I bet ya in the '80s it was Japan.

05 February, 2024 03:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I've seen cases where math instructors tried to address the "purpose" issue. They generally argue that even if you won't need to use the specific types of math being taught, learning it still strengthens your thinking capacity generally. I think this is probably true. It does seem to me that algebra, for example, epitomizes a kind of symmetrical form of thinking which is applicable in a range of situations, although I doubt I could clearly describe exactly what that form of thinking consists of.

The distortion of education for political/ideological reasons is a real problem in a lot of areas. There are education officials who believe that math and science are somehow "oppressive" and "white", and want to lower standards for students who don't learn as easily instead of developing better teaching methods to help them. I think there's substantial evidence that average US schools really aren't performing as well as average schools in some other countries. For example, a survey a few years ago showed that about one-quarter of Americans didn't know which country the US became independent from during the War of Independence, an extremely basic and simple fact of US history. As to China, though, I don't trust their statistics on math education any more than I trust their statistics on literacy, which people who have actually been there consider seriously implausible.

Having any subject taught by teachers who themselves barely understand it is fatuous. Math teachers need to understand math. You can't get a degree in education and then go out and teach every subject under the Sun with just a little boning up on it.

05 February, 2024 21:45  

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