21 April 2024

Link round-up for 21 April 2024

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

o o o o o

Cats play games and wreak havoc.

Here's a round-up of humorous finds from around the net.

See a few re-imaginings of classic fantasy characters.

Chinese van drivers do their stuff.

One gate, multiple idiots.

What an absolute clown show.

Don't startle a person.

Which player will make the winning move?

This cat must have been a banker in a previous life.

Commuters in Butte MT saw an unusual sight on Tuesday morning.

This is not the best place to ride a bike with a heavy load (reduce your sound volume).

What's wrong with this picture?

I guess there is such a thing as a pig show.

This is the Algarve in Portugal.

Watch what happens when a moving sheet of sea ice hits land (use fullscreen).

Shackleton's ship still exists, remarkably well preserved.

This is the Tumpak Sewu waterfall in eastern Java, with a total height of almost four hundred feet.

What is it that can be easily seen, but casts no shadow?

Explore the evolution of cannabis, one of the very earliest plant species domesticated by humans.

Clean up your brain by sleeping more.

Autistic people often are not helped by conventional ways of organizing reality -- quite the reverse.

No, honeybees are not going extinct.  But other bee species may be.

H5N1 bird flu is positioned to mutate in ways that could produce a pandemic in humans.  With so much of the US now in the grip of anti-vax nonsense, we'd likely suffer more than most countries.

The T-rex probably had better vision than any animal now alive, and sounded a lot scarier than what Jurassic Park presented.

There's some weird stuff going on in outer space.

After a fabulously successful mission, the Ingenuity helicopter's flying days are over -- but it still has some work to do for the future.

Carbon dioxide emissions in advanced economies have fallen back to the same level as fifty years ago.  Renewables plus nuclear now account for half of all electricity generation in those economies.  We are doing this.  Never listen to anyone who claims nothing major is being done to fight global warming.

Domestic cats and dogs can harbor and spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The great atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett (pictured above) died on Friday.  He was 82.  Blogger Jerry Coyne has some memories.

Why pay to buy it if you still can't own it?

Listen to an inspirational song of independence from lies.

Faith Ringgold was an American artist whose explorations of life and freedom flowered from her encounters with France.

Wild animals are very often infested with disease and parasites, which makes hunting them for food risky.

Here's a video on how to help a person suffering from a drug overdose, and a PDF summary.

"Sexual" choking, which can cause brain damage or even death, is on the rise among younger Americans, with two-thirds of college women having suffered the practice during sex.  It's part of the pornification of sexuality.

Sometimes shitty customers don't get away with it.

House Republican extremists deploy a new weapon -- the FARTThen there's thisMore here.

Blogger Annie poetically pwns Trump on trial.  I haven't been following that story closely, but evidently she has.

The police are finally cracking down somewhat on street racing here in Portland, which often involves mobs of thugs seizing control of streets for hours, car crashes, and even shootings.

Why do the media keep claiming that crime is going down in big cities, when it's so obvious to those of us who live in these places (and to the businesses struggling to survive there) that the problem is disastrous and getting worse?  This seems like a plausible explanation for the big discrepancy between reporting and reality.

Many younger Americans are strongly prejudiced against relationships with age differences.

A Christian thug attempts an arson attack against the competition (and bungles it).

Forced-birth laws are driving emergency rooms to refuse treatment to pregnant women, due to uncertainty about what treatment they can legally provide.

A widening political gap between younger men and women is making dating even more difficult.

Without lies, they cease to exist.

A right-wing blogger cites black scientists and inventors to pwn the ignorant.

No one will ever convince me that this kind of filth and exploitation of children is normal or acceptable.  Never.  And we all know damn well exactly why the establishment was so bothered by the film Sound of Freedom.

Tesla is laying off over 10% of its global staff.  But it wants to pay Elon Musk $56,000,000,000.  This pretty much sums up why the US class system is the way it is.

Biden hits it out of the park addressing the IBEW union conference in Washington DC.

We must not let ourselves be enslaved by those who fear freedom, and fear being themselves.

"They..... can't see the ridiculousness of what they're doing because their bubble only reflects their image."

One candidate for Portland mayor wants to crack down on homeless encampments.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Yes, the associated filth and petty crime are contributing to making the city unlivable, but where else are the homeless supposed to go?  Local efforts to house them are far too small-scale and always hopelessly bogged down in bureaucratic delays.  Neighboring Washington county claims to have eliminated the problem, but that county is mostly suburban and probably never had anything like the same scale of encampments.

A Jewish survivor of the Holocaust admits to being terrified of what she sees happening in the US now.

Delusional thinking is always bad, but especially when it's applied to investment decisions.

This horror is just as evil as female genital mutilation in Africa, and should be equally condemned.

Smartphones and social media have ruined the mental health of teenagers.  It's now a full-blown crisis.

Salman Rushdie denounces ongoing attacks on free speech in the US.

Bullies who showed no mercy should not ask for it or expect it when the tables are turned.

This thug smashed a woman on the head with a basketball-size rock, causing a concussion, skull damage, and PTSD.  Nothing meaningful can be done about it because he's exempt from normal laws on grounds of mental illness.  The victim is suing the medical center which turned him loose despite the danger he posed.

I found this video on a right-wing blog.  Some of them are so close to getting it.

Yes, your one vote does matter.

Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga have voted to join the UAW, an auspicious victory in the traditionally non-unionized auto factories of the South.

Laws against "hate speech" are inherently totalitarian and hostile to freedom.

Montana will probably have an abortion-rights initiative on the ballot in November.

Those who favor theocracy over democracy should be made to go and live there.

Modern academia no longer cultivates genius.  In the future the great fundamental breakthroughs will likely be made elsewhere -- including universities in foreign countries which operate more traditionally.

In California, clean energy now meets 100% of electricity needs on some days.

Earth-Bound Misfit blog has some smart advice for traffic-blockers, which they will be too stupid to listen to.

In Hawaii, a historic stairway must be torn down because tourists couldn't stop being assholes.

Who are the filthy human garbage in Congress who voted against condemning a genocidal anti-Semitic slogan?

Ob/gyns are fleeing Idaho since it passed its forced-birth law; the state has lost 22% of its practicing obstetricians, creating "obstetric deserts".  A new group is hoping to put an abortion-rights restoration measure on the ballot there.

Academia must be held to account for allowing anti-Semitism to run rampant.

Louisiana already allows child labor.  Now Republicans there want to take away child workers' legal right to a lunch break.

Oregon's gun-control law Measure 114, enacted very narrowly by voters in 2022, is still on hold in the courts.

The discovery that "gender dysphoria" is just a phase that most teens naturally grow out of has vindicated the testimony of detransitioners.

They don't just hate Israel -- they hate us all.

As aid to Ukraine and Israel advanced in the House with massive bipartisan support, the flaming nutballs were not happy.  The aid package finally passed 311-to-112 after months of delay that made our country look weak, ridiculous, and an unreliable ally to our fellow democracies in the fight against dictatorship and jihadism.

The prime minister of Japan reminds Congress of our country's role in the world.  The US needs to wake up to the reality of what will happen if we fail to support Ukraine to victory.

As Arizona's revived 1864 forced-birth law wreaks havoc, Republicans plot to trick voters into rejecting a ballot measure to restore sanity in November.  They have twice blocked repeal of the law in the state legislature.  Two of the pro-forced-birth state supreme court judges who revived the law are on the ballot this year, so Republicans are trying to protect them from the voters.

"White privilege" is a lie based on twisting words and twisting reality.

If Trump loses this November, it will be very difficult for him to pull any of the same bullshit as in 2020.

Here's a giant collection of links on the Cass Report, in case you've been wondering why it's such a big deal.

"I don't think that's his call, myself."

British police stopped, and threatened to arrest, a man for being "openly Jewish" in the vicinity of a Nazi rally.

A synagogue in Oldenburg, Germany was targeted by an arson attack.  Hundreds of local people rallied to support the Jewish community.

Iranians in France rally to support Israel -- and their own country's true character.

This Ukrainian historian perfectly expresses his country's absolute determination to resist and survive (scroll down a bit).

Mexico has a law to encourage women's participation in politics, but male politicians have already figured out how to subvert it.

Never conflate Iran and its people with the vile theocratic regime that tyrannizes them and spreads terrorist havoc through the Middle East -- the post includes some clarification on recent events.

Iran's attack on Israel suggests that its military arsenal is larger than we thought, but that much of it isn't technologically first-rate.

India is beginning a national election, which will last over a month and involve almost a billion registered voters.

The Chinese regime is banning most internet usage by the already brutally oppressed Uyghur minority.

More links at WAHF and Fair and Unbalanced (on the early section about Israel's retaliation against the "Iranian consulate", please see the "clarification on recent events" link four paragraphs up).

My own posts this week:  an image round-up, and an animated tribute to HG Wells's War of the Worlds.

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.

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Blogger Lady M said...

I guess when you are showing a pig you cannot look at it. My daughter raised chickens, rabbits and sheep in FFA - never pigs.

21 April, 2024 08:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I thought those people's manner in the pig show was very odd, staring intently at each other rather than the pigs. Can't imagine why they do that.

22 April, 2024 04:57  
Blogger NickM said...

The situation with software (not just games) is appalling. The subscription model is awful. I use Corel Graphics and my subscription is up for renewal soon. This costs a lot. But it's not just that... Do I want or need the new version? Garphics software is very computationally intensive. The current version is tough on my machine right now. There is also problems with use on multiple machines. And do I need to learn all the new bells and whistles. Put it this way. I start a project using a 0.5mm Rotring pencil. I own that pencil. I bought it in Istanbul* quite a few years ago. It is my pencil. I need to put lead in it and that can be existential (2B or not 2B, that is the question) but like, whatever. I can buy the graphite from whoever I want. And yes, I generally use 2B.

But, Hell's teeth. Graphics software is bad** but printers. The single most malevolent entity in my life is my wife's HP Envy 6017 printer. "Envy"! It covers all of the deadly sins. It is needful beyond measure. It is also awkward, truculent, rude. There is a saying within the IT community in general, "All printers are cunts". Audrey is the Empress of Cuntery. It even flashes green at me when it wants paper. It's a networked printer (connected to my machine without asking BTW) so it had to be named. It is named after the plant from "Little Shop of Horrors" because when it gets in a strop the paper drawer flashes green.

*Short version of why a web designer in South Manchester, England uses a pencil he bought in Istanbul. I was on holiday and I think Turkey (at the time) subsidized or zero rated the VAT or something on scholastic stuff and I saw it in a shop I was buyinhg a postcard from and thought, that's a cheap pencil. Still using it now without any upgrades.
**Yes, I'm aware that free open-source stuff like GIMP exists but that is shite.

22 April, 2024 08:24  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

Headgehogs are so cute. I wanted one years ago but I knew nothing about them. If we had wild ones here I would put food out for them. I just put a bunch of dry food out for the stray cats the other night.

That video of the ice tsunami is crazy.

22 April, 2024 15:49  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: Maybe I'm lucky that I have zero talent for art. I'd never "buy" graphics software because I'd never be able to do anything worthwhile with it.

Everyone seems to hate the way printers are. The one I have now refuses to print in black because the color cartridges are low. And the ink cartridges are expensive. I resent having to spend so much money on something I use maybe two or three times a year.

Pencils must be really expensive in Europe if the sales tax on one is an issue!

Mary K: I guess you just have to keep your hedgehogs away from drunken Scotsmen.

I wouldn't want to get too close to the ice tsunami with the ice breaking up and chunks falling over. Some of those chunks of ice must weigh as much as a car.

23 April, 2024 00:20  
Anonymous Reaganite Independent said...

You outdid yourself this week, but I found the article on bees of particular interest

Check this out, I live in Czech Republic and last saw summer. I saw a big black purpleish bee the size of your thumb.

I did some research and they were supposed to be extinct 75 years ago, supposedly wiped out in World War II as the battles raged thru Poland

But they were rediscovered their 10 years ago in Poland, and now they’ve made their way down here already

I saw it twice, but was unable to get a photo. It caught my attention by the sound, a low droning buzz due to the size.

25 April, 2024 08:56  
Anonymous Annie said...

I appreciate the reminders about the gulf between the people of Iran and their repressive leadership. We must not lose sight of that.

I am always grateful for your links to my posts. Just an observation: considerably more interest in the NY trial than in a blogger's poem about Trump.

The importance of everyone's single vote, which Arizona AG Kris Mayes demonstrated when the state Supreme Court decided 1864 was a good year to which they should roll back abortion law, has been reinforced with the indictments she just announced in the fake electors scheme.

So fire casts no shadow! Just another bit of knowledge I probably wouldn't have come across anywhere else. Cheers!

25 April, 2024 14:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Reaganite: That's one hell of a large bee. Hopefully someday you'll be able to get a picture of one and post it.

It had not occurred to me that war could drive an insect species to extinction, but I suppose it could happen if the species was rare to begin with. Interesting that they vanished for a long time and then re-emerged.

Annie: Thanks. The distinction between governments and nations should always be kept in mind. Certainly when I hear the name "Iran", the Iranian government is not even among the top ten things that come to mind. No American fails to differentiate the US government from the country as a whole.

I hope people start to assimilate the importance of each vote. We're too fixated on the presidency; in those elections, intimidating numbers in the tens of millions get thrown around, but state and district elections can also have a lot of impact, and those are decided by much smaller numbers.

26 April, 2024 02:45  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

I, too, wondered "what's up" with the pig handlers. I always enjoy your little movies.

27 April, 2024 18:32  

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