Thursday July 18th, 2019

History of Tipping

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Anti-news: Politico: The Racist History of Tipping:

You might not think of tipping as a legacy of slavery, but it has a far more racialized history than most Americans realize. Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.

How does language define thought?

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As I watched various kids grow up, I saw some of them go through their shock humor phase, and wondered how much of the language was culture gone horribly wrong, how much of it was teens looking for a reaction, how much of it was...

Anyway, I'm still pondering what I think some of the language propagation issues mean, and this delves into that a bit: Unspoken Politics: A Unitarian Universalist Pipeline to the Right?

Tuesday July 16th, 2019

Wow. telnet . Interact with your mouse.

Voter impersonation investigation

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Gun control & childhood firearms deaths

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American Academy of Pediatrics: Study: Tough gun laws linked to fewer firearm deaths among children

There were about 4,250 pediatric deaths from firearms each year, an annual rate of 4.65 per 100,000 children. About 62% were assault-related, 87% were male and 69% were ages 18-21, according to “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality,” (Goyal MK, et al. Pediatrics. July 15, 2019, ).

Researchers found that adjusted mortality rates dropped 4% for every 10-point increase in the strictness of state gun legislation based on the Brady scoring scale.

Related commentary: No Silver Bullet: Firearm Laws and Pediatric Death Prevention Lois K. Lee, Judy Schaechter, which points out that there's a lot more detail that'd be useful to know.

I mean, if it's largely the kids of gun owners, then maybe this is just a situation that evolution will solve?

The Block That Prop 13 Built

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Southern California Public Radio: California Dream Series — The Block That Prop 13 Built:

In most states, the property tax you pay depends on how much your house is worth now. The nicer the home, the more you pay. But because of Prop. 13, property taxes in California are pegged to the value of a house when it was purchased.

That’s why owners on this block pay such wildly different property taxes for very similar properties. Decades-long owners of a 1,300 square foot home on one end of the block paid $1,168 in property taxes last year. New homeowners with a smaller home on the other end of the block paid almost 10 times that amount. Two very similar homes, two incredibly different property tax bills.

Monday July 15th, 2019

Progress is being made in coexistence

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Progress is being made in coexistence

Online video & CO2

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Streaming online pornography produces as much CO2 as Belgium

Online video accounted for 60 per cent of global data flows in 2018, the report states, or 1 zettabyte of data (one thousand billion billion bytes). The report’s definition of “online video” does not include live video streaming such as Skype video calls, “camgirls” or telemedicine, which account for another 20 per cent of global data flows.

kinda buries the lede: Porn streaming is 27% of video watching, vs 33-34% of streaming content like Amazon and Netflix. And what this doesn't compare to is what was the previous cost distributing physical media and transporting it (eg: driving to the video rental place)?

Azariphale's hands

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This Twitter thread on Azariphale's hands in Good Omens hit a nerve, especially the bit about "...forced to hide our natural body movements for neurotypicals’ comfort."

Saturday July 13th, 2019

I have seen the best minds of my

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I have seen the best minds of my generation stalking the cat food aisle at dawn, looking at a picture on their c cell phone to make sure they get exactly the brand and style that the cats ate last time.

Friday July 12th, 2019

Technology and Music

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BBC's The Documentary Podcast has been running a fantastic documentary series: How technology changed music: Nick Mason presents BBC World Service series.

RSS feed of just those episodes available at

MeFi thread

Measles & Autism

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Yet another major study shows no link between measles vaccine and autism:

The study examined every child born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010, a group of more than 650,000.

The study found no increased risk of developing autism after getting the MMR vaccine, no clustering of autism cases among children who were given the vaccine, and no increase in the rate of autism among susceptible children who were given the vaccine.

The study is Annals of Internal Medicine: Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism: A Nationwide Cohort Study Anders Hviid, Jørgen Vinsløv Hansen, Morten Frisch, Mads Melbye. DOI: 10.7326/M18-2101

Gay square dancers add new spin to centuries-old dance style. An AP article from Belles Run Philadelphia 2019, the 36th annual IAGSDC square dancing convention.

Thursday July 11th, 2019

The allure of the illicit

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Ramming speed

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Had to destroy the cyclist to save it department: NYPD Used Deadly Force to Stop Cyclist Suspected of Running Red Light

Does apologizing work?

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Does Apologizing Work? An Empirical Test of the Conventional Wisdom Richard Hanania, Columbia University - Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, September 8 2015:

... Overall, the evidence suggests that when a prominent figure apologizes for a controversial statement, the public is either unaffected or becomes more likely to desire that the individual be punished.

Abuse of Faith

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Abuse of Faith:

In the past 20 years, a disturbing number of Southern Baptists with formal church roles have engaged in sexual misconduct, a new investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reveals. They were pastors. Deacons. Youth pastors. They left behind more than 700 victims. Read and hear the stories of those victims, and learn the depths of the crimes and misconduct of the church leaders they trusted.

Via MeFi

Wednesday July 10th, 2019

Brownback experiment

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Recovering from the disaster that was the Brownback experiment: The comeback state of 2019: Kansas economy rebounds from tax-cutting disaster

Pride is a luxury I cannot afford yet

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Interesting essay on the social pressures of family, social media, and managing one's public presentation, from a Nigerian living in the US: ‘This Is Quite Gay!’.

The MeFi entry

most terrifying part is that when the

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The most terrifying part is that when the details come out that suggest that Epstein's pedophilia/blackmail infiltrated society in a way that'd make the Catholic Church blush, rather than shunning the abusers the GOP will likely adopt pedophilia and rape as a principle.

Monday July 8th, 2019

Wanted to use @gocurb

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Wanted to use @gocurb, the taxi app, to book our ride to the airport tomorrow, but it kept throwing errors. Lyft worked. Sigh.

Sunday July 7th, 2019

Gonna fly now

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Gonna fly now

NOAA coastal inundation mapper

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NOAA Coastal Inundation dashboard. A few years ago I made a little sea level rise mapper as part of a workshop at a geography conference,, but this one looks like it's working with better data.

Friday July 5th, 2019

User Inyerface

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User Inyerface:

Hi and welcome to User Inyerface, a challenging exploration of user interactions and design patterns.

To play the game, simply fill in the form as fast and accurate as possible.

Yeah. Every user interface designer working today should be subjected to this...