Sunday May 19th, 2019

Huh. Wonder what Ukrainian scammers get out of having bogus @AirBNB listings in Sonoma County? I'm trying to set up a night in St Helena and getting results in Kiev...

macOS '.DS_Store' format

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GRE doesn't identify successful PhD students

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Rochester Institute of Technology: GRE fails to identify successful Ph.D. students.

Whoah, test which everyone puts lots of credence in turns out to not accurately measure what it purports to measure.

This is my shocked face.

Cyclists Break Far Fewer Road Rules Than Motorists

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Saturday May 18th, 2019

Carter on competition with China

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Jimmy Carter Took Call About China From Concerned Donald Trump: 'China Has Not Wasted a Single Penny on War'

Carter—who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979—suggested that China’s breakneck growth had been facilitated by sensible investment and buoyed by peace.

“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None. And we have stayed at war.” The U.S., he noted, has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” Carter said. This is, he said, because of America’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”

Friday May 17th, 2019

Innumeracy at Wired

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Linking to Wired: Tesla’s Latest Autopilot Death Looks Just Like a Prior Crash for this bit of innumeracy:

... At 68 mph, the car was covering 100 feet a second. A Model 3 going 60 mph needs 133 feet to stop. If that ratio holds, the Tesla in question could have stopped within 151 feet. ...

Uh, no, stopping distance is squared with speed, not linear with speed. That'd be closer to 171'. How did this make it past an editor?

Thursday May 16th, 2019

Farms without revenue

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The more I learn about how US food policy has essentially recreated sharecropping, along with huge tax dodges for the ultra rich, the more I think we've gotta dial back some of the centralized control that runs our farming in this country.

Is it a Farm if it Doesn’t Sell Food?:

More than one-fifth of all farms in the U.S. report making $0 in annual sales. Because the USDA won’t release that data, the nation is missing critical information about the health of the food system.

RT Dr Sarah Taber @SarahTaber_bww

So I've long had the sense that a lot of "farms" were tax dodges & raised crops/livestock just for show, if at all.

Now there are statistics!

Cloud Computing

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All computers connected to the internet are are cloud computers. And "the cloud" is still other people's computers.

That'll help you sleep better...

Glyphosate & Transgenerational Pathologies

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Nature Scientific Reports: Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology:

In summary, glyphosate was found to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and pathology through germline (i.e. sperm) epimutations. Negligible pathology was observed in the F0 and F1 generations, while a significant increase in pathology and disease was observed in the F2 generation grand-offspring and F3 generation great-grand-offspring. Therefore, glyphosate appears to have a low or negligible toxic risk for direct exposure, but promotes generational toxicology in future generations. ...

Wednesday May 15th, 2019

Not commenting on Nextdoor right now

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Not commenting on Nextdoor right now because phrases like "when did 'fiscal responsibility' become 'social engineering'?" and "I guess conservatives are for tax increases when progressives are against them" are rolling off my fingers.

Special shoutout to this person who

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Special shout-out to this person who this morningpassed on the right on narrow Petaluma Blvd S lanes at probably 10mph over the speed limit, in rainy wet conditions, and then made two unsignalled lane changes

Killing Women

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Tuesday May 14th, 2019

Still looks like undocumented immigrants don't cause crime

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Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

There is no exact count of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. To create estimates, experts at Pew subtracted Department of Homeland Security counts of immigrants with legal status from the number of foreign-born people counted by the Census Bureau. Many organizations and agencies, including the DHS, use this residual estimation method; it is generally considered the best one available. As of 2016, there were an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants nationwide, down a million and a half since 2007.

(And, of course, there's all of the previous data on this.)

Square Dancing in the 1940s

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Just a place to drop a couple of photos next time I'm looking for traditional square dance or square dancing attire or clothing:

WhatsApp exploit

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Via Violet Blue's cybersecurity roundup: WhatsApp voice calls used to inject Israeli spyware on phones

The malicious code, developed by the secretive Israeli company NSO Group, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs, said the spyware dealer, who was recently briefed on the WhatsApp hack.

If you had WhatsApp on your phone, it's probably time for a factory reset.

MeFi thread

Before and After

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I mentioned before that I was so far out of the popular culture that, in high school, when sheet music for "Billie Jean" or some such was handed out in marching band, I asked "who the hell is Michael Jackson?"

Eric took me to task for that, pointing out that Michael Jackson's place in cultural history as someone who effectively bridged the racial divide as a black artist finding acceptance in white culture as essentially white culture, was an amazing achievement. My beliefs on race have evolved quite a bit since then, but I still find myself torn between, for instance, seeing that "The Wiz" was an amazing cultural touchstone, and fundamentally a bad movie.

But as I try to embrace more popular culture, both of now and of my peers, which means my high school years, I have a couple of Michael Jackson tunes that I use in square dancing. And I've kinda been wondering whether I can ever use them again.

Ann Powers on NPR: Before And After — What it's like listening to Michael Jackson now

This is the impetus behind the idea of canceling Michael Jackson, which has been raised and endlessly debated in the past two months. To cancel, according to the social media forces where the term originated, means to make an individual decision to eradicate a cultural presence — a pop star, for example — from one's consciousness. ...

I was kinda reading through, pondering my own slightly negative feelings against his work, but realizing that his music can move a floor, and read:

Jackson's contribution to the public conversation about sex in the 1980s and 1990s was grounded in the very fixation on perversion and paranoia that now seems so perverse. The darkness of individuals that runs through popular art only resonates because it reflects impulses — maybe not the same ones, but connected ones — in its audience.

And maybe this is it. Rather than exploring the taboo in the way that Madonna did, rather than exposing the desires, in lyrics like "Annie are you okay?" Jackson was creating a voyeuristic spectacle that conflated... I dunno... domestic violence with CPR training. Or something.

At any rate, I think I'm not gonna miss those few songs from my catalog, even if Thriller does make a decent Halloween patter. I'm okay with canceling Michael Jackson. And I haven't even seen Finding Neverland.

Monday May 13th, 2019

Apollo Rocks

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Apollo rocks showed how the moon was made, and now they're about to solve more mysteries. An article on some plans to open some vacuum sealed moon rock samples that have been waiting for the technology to analyze them to be ready.

Sunday May 12th, 2019

Thought I had uploaded this

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Thought I had uploaded this, but: the stands I built to hold up moving blankets to improve the sound when we're square dancing

Tastes like ass

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Vegan Ass Getting Closer and Closer to Tasting Like Real Thing

“For years, a vegan’s anus was a bland, disappointing imitation of the real thing,” said nutritionist and voracious rimmer Doyle Cartwright, a tenured professor at the National College of Natural Medicine. “Plant-based diets didn’t provide enough challenging material to the bowels; thus, almost all taste-containing cells and molecules were fully absorbed by the body or passed through as waste. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.”

Saturday May 11th, 2019

Square Dancing vs Jazzercise

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I love (modern (western)) square dancing. I love that it combines a mental workout with some brisk walking. I appreciate the square dancers who dance to my music. But I just found out that Jazzercise was founded in 1969, CALLERLAB started to come together circa 1971.

They are, admittedly, slightly different things, but Jazzercise has 228 corporate staff, over 8,300 franchisees, and some of those franchisees are doing well enough to be able to live in the SF North Bay on 6 classes a week.

I thought about this as I cashed a check in the double-digits for a two and a half hour dance I called for which I had to allow 3 hours of drive time...

Friday May 10th, 2019

Wrongful arrest for "I EAT ASS"

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Not all heroes wear capes: The Florida Man Arrested For His "I EAT ASS" Sticker Might Sue The Sheriff's Office:

Bonderud noted that the dashcam footage shows the deputy at first telling his client that the sticker was "derogatory" instead of "offensive." He also highlighted that at several points, one of the deputy's colleagues can be heard telling him via the radio to "tow his shit."

"Not only were they wrong on the law, but they happen to be hypocrites," he said.

social value of school

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RT Geoff Graham @geoffreydgraham

If children started school at six months old and their teachers gave them walking lessons, within a single generation people would come to believe that humans couldn't learn to walk without going to school.

Raising $2T

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I piss and moan about the ridiculousness of throwing good money after bad in automobile infrastructure. The number $2T comes up regularly, whether it's the recent Trump/Schumer/Pelosi proposal (that won't make it past the senate) or the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) famously suggesting that if we didn't spend $2.2T on fixing roads and bridges we were going to end up losing out on $1T of economic growth .

The ASCE later revised those numbers to claiming we need to spend $5.2T

Anyway, ignoring things like the carbon and health externalities, here's what it would take to raise two trillion dollars for infrastructure. It starts with $1.60/gallon gas tax, assuming inelastic demand for gas.