30 June 2024

Link round-up for 30 June 2024

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

o o o o o

There are those who learn quickly, and those who do not.

Do math with cats.

Helping kids cross the street can be a real pain in the ass sometimes.

Beware of the dog pig.

Don't get too close to the construction site.

Some serious dumbth here.

He's keeping watch from his guard tower.

Celebrate hot ghoul summer.

See paintings come to life.

A slippery floor does not make a cat any less destructive.

Vote for her husband for city council.

This person is not a very good driver.

Strange images here (NSFW blog, requires Blogspot log-in).

He does his job with enthusiasm and efficiency.

Are the stores in your area at Code Orange yet?

This kid had a close call.

This is what English would sound like with German grammar.

See some friendly animals and an annoying panda.

What would happen if we drained the oceans?  (I was reminded of this.)

Old pets need love too.

This guy was damn lucky he got such an unflappable cop.

Do you remember suffering from weird rules as a child?

Two former members of Nightwish sing together again -- on Mars.

Here are some websites you can use for drawing.  I haven't tried them -- I can't draw worth anything, with or without technology.

If you've had covid, wait two months before starting to exercise again.

There's some evidence that elephants use names for each other much like how humans do.

Scientists have successfully repaired brain damage in mice using stem cells from rats, even though mice and rats have been separate lineages for thirty million years, far longer than humans and any of the other great-ape species have been separate.

The new Rubin telescope in Chile will greatly enhance our ability to detect asteroids that pose a threat to Earth.

The New York Times is bullshitting its readers about covid.

Colleges are now dumbing down their teaching to accommodate the declining reading ability of students, attributed to the rise of social media and the decline of recreational reading of real books, though I suspect that the period of non-phonics-based "teaching" of reading in primary schools also played a bigger role than the article suggests.

I bet you didn't know about this bizarre Islamic custom concerning breastfeeding.

The world-wide abolition of slavery was mostly accomplished by the relentless efforts of just one country.

Beware of people with these three traits.

The Cybertruck is being recalled for manufacturing defects for the fourth time since it went on sale seven months ago.  It's so dangerous they really should just get all of them off the roads until they can be completely re-engineered to meet normal standards.

This person exists.

Forget Jewish space lasers -- they've now got atomic spy lizards and killer dolphins.

No, it's not true that Taylor Swift refuses to perform in Florida.  Who on Earth believes this stuff?

Learn ten reasons why you should become a Muslim.

Here's a way to make your Cybertruck even more annoying and exhibitionistic.

Half of Dell's US employees still work from home despite company policy denying promotions to those who won't return to the office.

This is utter madness.

A suburban school district near here will require students' phones to be locked away during class time.  Phones have become a big distraction in schools, so hopefully this will improve educational outcomes.

Some things are still allowed to be women-only.

The Inquisition never burned any witches.

There is a huge amount of silly nonsense about Gaza circulating on the internet.  Don't believe it.

Maybe the reason why people these days are so fed up with work is that so much of it is obviously pointless.

Major League Baseball players are getting death threats from gamblers who lose money on them.

Must-read of the week for all politics junkies:  the actual economic environment much of the population lives in is still terrible, and the worst, vote-losingest thing the left can do is what it largely is doing, namely telling people to ignore what they can see in front of their own eyes and believe the wonderful statistics being spouted by the talking heads with letters after their names instead.  I discussed an analogous problem with crime (among other things) in this post in January.  The political-activist left is probably still doing more harm than good to its own causes.

Oklahoma is now requiring teachers to teach the Bible.  Here are some suggestions for specific lessons.

"Queer theory" is mostly just word-games, and sane people are getting better at dismantling it.

Darwinfish 2 has an image round-up, largely on politics and religion.

To this day, most people don't grasp the true horror of October 7.  Many, I suspect, don't want to.  Here's a site which has collected documentation.

Worthwhile assessments of the debate by Annie Asks You, an Arizona independent, and a non-panicking liberal.

Ohio is purging its voter rolls.  If you live there, make sure you're still registered.

This ad is a textbook case of gaslighting.  More discussion here.

Workers use "coffee badging" to evade the bosses' back-to-the-office demands.

The Portland teachers' union endorses flagrant and outrageous anti-Jewish propaganda in classrooms.

Nevada has verified enough signatures to place an abortion-rights initiative on the ballot this November.

Sometimes people who seem like the enemy are actually reachable.  Sometimes they aren't evil, they just haven't been allowed to hear the truth.

In line with most other Western countries, and with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans, the Biden administration has declared that it no longer supports gender surgery for minors.

Julian Assange is back in the news, so here's your periodic reminder that he's a murderous monster.  And accusations against him of sex crimes were never properly investigated.

The "New Columbia movement" is an authoritarian and Christian-nationalist group more blunt about its intentions than most.  Their manifesto predictably attacks abortion, birth control, and sexual freedom, but also calls democracy a "failed experiment" and disparages NATO and the US alliance with Israel.  They do, at least, explicitly reject racism, and oddly seem to admire the decidedly non-Christian Roman Empire.  Their symbol looks like four letter Ts arranged to form a cross, in a way so strongly suggestive of a swastika that it's hard to believe it could be accidental.  Found via Lo Imprescindible (NSFW blog, Blogspot log-in required).

As Twitter's revenue continues to plummet, Elon Musk begs former advertisers to return.

Here's a corporate executive who used his power for good.

The "progressive left" is a tiny fraction of the US population and far out of step with most of the country.

Biden has pardoned thousands of former members of the US armed services who were convicted for violating the military's ban on gay sex (which was repealed in 2013).  Those covered by the pardon will be able to apply to recover lost pay and benefits.

Abortion rights continue to be the issue this year in politics, with huge majority support and energized voters across the country.

A right-wing blogger calls out another for racism (the comments are also of interest).

"Pride" has lost its original meaning as an ever-growing collection of fads and gobbledygook squeeze actual gay people out.

Here's why the claim that Biden uses drugs to hide his alleged senility is nonsense.

JK Rowling isn't pulling punches any more.

51% of people in Scotland now identify as having no religion, up from 37% in 2011.  Only 39% identify as Christian.

Here's an overview of the election for France's National Assembly, which takes place in two rounds of voting, today and on July 7.

In France, rising crime is a major part of why the anti-immigration nationalists are gaining ground with voters.  This very article is a good example of how the MSM's dishonesty in reporting such issues has destroyed readers' trust in them, trying to discredit voter anger by saying that only 17% of violent-crime suspects are foreigners.  First, non-citizens are less than 8% of France's population, so being 17% of suspects is actually very high.  Second, many people of non-Western origin and culture have French citizenship and are thus not counted as foreigners statistically.  The voters can see with their own eyes where the problem is largely coming from.  Crude media gaslighting only infuriates them further.

In Germany, eleven men raped a fourteen-year-old girl.  Nine were convicted, but only one received a (ridiculously short) prison term.  Then a woman was convicted of insulting one of the rapists -- and got a weekend in jail.  Read the story at the link, consider how many stories like this there are over there these days -- and if you're still surprised that Europeans are voting in droves for the "far right", there's no help for you.

In an effort to combat anti-Semitism, Germany now requires that anyone applying for citizenship recognize Israel's right to exist.

The EU's new foreign-policy chief will be tough on Russia.

Under attack from Putin's explicitly Christianist regime, Ukrainians continue to observe pagan traditions of their culture.

October 7 probably ended access for Palestinian workers to the Israeli labor market, a serious blow to them economically.

Jihadist attacks on Jewish people, holy places, and other sites are common, but often ignored by the Western media.

During the Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage) in Mecca, sexual harassment and abuse are a persistent problem.

The recent rejection of authoritarian religio-nationalism by India's voters holds lessons for other democracies, including ours.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced and WAHF.

My posts this week:  an image round-up, a personal note, and a brief comment on the debate.

o o o o o

The Democratic party won back a shred of its honor in this Tuesday's primaries, dumping one member of the Israel-bashing "Squad", Jamaal Bowman, in New York.  Republicans missed a chance to do likewise, re-nominating the Ukraine-bashing Lauren Boebert in Colorado.

28 June 2024

The debate

FFS stop with the hysterics about the debate.  No, of course I didn't watch the stupid thing, but the reactions around the internet today are impossible to miss.  The usual types who treat every setback like the end of the world are already declaring that we're doomed to another Trump presidency and/or Biden should step down in favor of another candidate, etc, etc, etc.  There hasn't even been time for public reaction -- among voters, as opposed to pundits or the media -- to gel and for polling to assess it.  The average truck driver or waitress or accountant is not as panicky and dumb and easily spooked as the average pundit or activist.  Let's wait and see what they think.

Obama's performance in his first debate with Romney was considered disappointing too; he upped his game and recovered, and in hindsight the debates probably had little impact on the 2012 presidential election result one way or the other.  The fact that Biden had a cold on Thursday might change the course of history, or it might not.  It's too early to tell, but until we have hard data from competent polls, I'd bet on not.  This election is still going to be mostly about abortion rights.

Personal note

The end of the temp job has not, as I had hoped it would, ended the feeling of deep mental stagnation I've been living with for the last five months.  Having committed to taking at least one month off before looking for work again, I determined to use the time to try to break certain health-damaging personal habits.  Earlier this month I suffered a series of scary and painful physical events which I took as a warning that, if I don't make some major lifestyle changes, there are going to be serious consequences.  Unfortunately, changing entrenched behavior (the most damaging of which has been a routine part of my life since I was 23) is very difficult and stressful.  Sleep is more disrupted than ever, despite regular use of melatonin.  I have no choice but to persist in the effort, but this situation is going to be a real impediment to any higher-order thinking, and thus writing, for a while.

Avoiding politics/election stuff on the internet as much as I can is helping somewhat.  That stuff was getting to the point of making me feel physically nauseated.

I couldn't have stayed at that job much longer.  Some of the people there were actually quite pleasant, notably the manager of the work unit I was in, but they had no control over the shouting, the people constantly interrupting and talking over each other, the rudeness and hostility of the one individual I had to interact with the most, and the various other stuff that made it feel like a madhouse sometimes.  I also simply don't have the stamina I used to.  Forty hours a week, month after month, is just too much.  If I can get healthier over the next few weeks, maybe that will improve, but I hope that for the next job I can get something part-time.

On my second-to-last day, the manager took me out to lunch and we got to talking about personal things for the first time.  It was only then that I discovered he's quite religious, though he didn't go into detail.  When I left at the end of the work day on that final Friday, he walked out with me, thanked me again for all my work, and then said, "I want you to know I'll be praying for your new health regimen to succeed".  I thanked him with a feeling of genuine appreciation.  He was being supportive and encouraging, which I value however it's expressed.  Should I have tried to keep in touch with him after the job ended?  In my experience, co-workers are rarely open to that, and in the long run he and I would likely have discovered many profound disagreements in world-view.  Nevertheless, if more Christians were like him, I wouldn't have so much of a problem with Christianity.

25 June 2024

Image round-up for 25 June 2024

More pictures from my collection -- click for full size.

(For the link round-up, click here.)

Somebody didn't pay attention in basic physics class

How did they even manage to do this?

This is said to be a hotel lobby -- on what planet, I wouldn't venture to guess

Armenian traditional clothing


The Great Pyramid seen from above

23 June 2024

Link round-up for 23 June 2024

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

o o o o o

Some dogs are very smart.  These dogs are not those dogs.

Is this any way to choose a national leader?

Here's another scam to watch out for -- a rather silly one.

It must be divine intervention -- there's no other way this could have happened.

These young ladies arrived at the prom in their own style.

It's clearly a close and special relationship.

This is painting with fire.

You can create a Goth garden.

Cockington Forge has stood the test of time.

This is the HMS Victory, which served as the British flagship at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805.  It is still preserved due to its historical importance, 219 years later.

I didn't know they ever flew so low.

Beekeepers are gods.

Cas d'intérêt discusses Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Take that, vile heretics!  More and more scientists now recognize that Pluto is a planet after all.

Some people seem immune to covid, and we're only just starting to understand why.

The Loch Ness monster is actually rather useful, despite not existing.

New technology may soon enable us to use concrete to store electricity, reducing the need for batteries that require toxic and difficult-to-obtain materials (link from commenter NickM).

Covid vaccines produce broader protection than we thought.

We're steadily learning more about the effects of puberty blockers.

Celebrate World Giraffe Day with some necking.

This is the best essay I've seen yet on the "AI" fad.

Not content with treating its employees like shit, Amazon is now also treating its customers like shit.

Don't subscribe to Adobe.  In fact, don't subscribe to anything "tech-y".  You just can't trust those jackasses these days.

Here is why shopping malls don't have windows.

Trans ideology is profoundly anti-gay.

Much of the nonsense which now infests society can be traced to the toaster-fucker problem.

A new book dissects the fatuous "Ark Encounter" theme park.

She contacted thirteen churches.

It can be done -- these former conspiracy-theory believers broke free of the madness and came back to reality.

An Oregon school coach has been fired for his efforts to keep boys off girls' sports teams.

Montana activists have gathered almost twice the required number of signatures to put an abortion-rights initiative on the November ballot.

Some intolerance is necessary.  Religion stops us from being able to tell the good intolerance from the bad.

Get this trite, Christian-supremacist drivel out of our schools.

You really don't want guys like these around.

The Putin regime is spamming the internet with fake celebrity quotes.  I don't really see the point -- do they think we'll cut off aid to Ukraine because we think Jennifer Aniston is against it?

It's beginning to dawn on the business world that "AI" is neither useful nor profitable.  This scam is about to collapse as so many others have before it.

Sir, you may ogle freely -- but don't be surprised if all the real girls just leave.

Insurers are tricking and even forcing retirees into giving up their real Medicare for inferior "Advantage" plans.

The forced-birth movement will eventually go the way of Prohibition.  I think the same could be said of the anti-gun movement.

An invader on someone else's turf can't claim any rights.

More here on the FBI crackdown on landlords and the Biden policies that led to it.

Yes, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Prominent activists are working to expose the Republicans' totalitarian, theocratic "Project 2025".

Abortion rights have even broader support than polling suggests.  Outdated survey questions fail to capture the real views of the public.

A girl given a double mastectomy at thirteen due to trans delusions is suing the doctors who did it.

Jew-hatred is now entrenched on both the left and the right.

Lots of links and analysis here on the Republican war against birth control, which is already under way, not just something that might happen in the future.

The forced-birth movement is now using every dirty trick it can think of to sabotage ballot initiatives supporting abortion rights (more here).  They desperately don't want the people to vote on this issue -- because they lose every time we do vote.

As in the US, public support for "LGBTQ" rights is declining rapidly in Canada.  As in the US, it's not difficult to see why.

Maya Forstater keeps on insisting that 2+2=4, and Big Brother is not happy about it.

Five years after the first time a menacing male mob tried to terrorize women resisting "self-ID" into silence in Scotland, a feminist book on the subject is a huge success.

The Putin regime is trying to eradicate evangelical churches in the part of Ukraine it controls, with pastors being abducted, tortured, and even killed.  Make sure the pro-Putin evangelicals in the US know about this.

A proposed law in Brazil would treat all abortions as homicides, putting women and doctors at risk of twenty-year prison sentences.

It's Hajj (pilgrimage) season in Islam, and so far more than a thousand people have died in Arabia's summer heat.  Saudi bureaucratic rules are part of the problem.

The UN will hold a conference on Afghanistan a week from now.  The Taliban are demanding that no Afghan women be allowed to attend and that women's rights not be on the agenda.  This is like holding a conference on South Africa in the apartheid days, with that country's government demanding that no South African blacks be allowed to attend and that there be no discussion of apartheid.

Thailand is about to legalize same-sex marriage, the second Asian country to do so (after Taiwan).

More links at Fair and Unbalanced and WAHF.

My own posts this week:  truths and inspirations, and more music worth remembering.

o o o o o

The temp job has ended.  It lasted for five months.  Due to various unexpected expenses, I was not able to save as much money as I had hoped, so I'll need another one sooner than I had anticipated.  Still, I'm going to take at least one month off before I start looking again.

21 June 2024

Music worth keeping -- or discovering

My previous posts in this series (here and here) showed videos which were well-known back in their day -- for most readers they were things remembered rather than something new.  Here are some which, as best I can remember, weren't as widely known, but which for me are equally evocative.  See what you think.

I don't think there was ever a real video of this one.  I recorded it off the radio at the time and listened to it that way.

I've heard that this one was inspired by Chernobyl.  At the time it always made me think of nuclear war.

Popular music's most unique singer uses the greatest language:

Some might take this one as violating my "no love songs" rule, but to me it never registered that way.  It evoked the theme of a life that took a wrong turn and went down the wrong path, far too long ago to be retrievable -- something that could be applied to many aspects of life. 

18 June 2024

Truths and inspirations for 18 June 2024

If something's hard to see or read, click to enlarge.

My hope for these posts is that they will provoke thinking, not mere agreement or disagreement.  If I can get you to consider even one idea which you would not previously have entertained, or which would not previously have occurred to you, then I've succeeded in what I'm trying to do.

(For the link round-up, click here.)

These days YouTube is basically in a state of open war with its viewers.

France, with each district colored based on which party got the largest number of votes (not necessarily a majority) in the recent European Union Parliament elections.  Dark blue represents Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National party.  They came in first everywhere in the country except the inner Paris metro area.

The vote for independence in 1991 was overwhelming.

All who eat of it are complicit in it.

Note the date -- this person posted this eleven years ago.