Monday January 27th, 2020

Nothing like having a piece of Lindt

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Nothing like having a piece of Lindt chocolate after sampling some of the single origin chocolates from @raphiochocolate as a harsh reminder that not all chocolates are equal. Worth paying the extra for the Raphio...

Saturday January 25th, 2020

First DuckDuckGo result for

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First DuckDuckGo result for "Wuhan" this morning is an ad for trip(dot)com: "Wuhan to Beijing Train - Easy Book & Secured Payment"

Bicycle with a twist

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Via Shadow: Bicycling with a twist. I've kinda casually dabbled with the idea of learning to ride a unicycle...

Friday January 24th, 2020

Sexy at 100

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Sexy at 100, Arianne Clément’s photographs shine a light on sensuality in old age

Paul is 101 years old. The tight embrace of his wife Christine, 88, is endless. Arianne Clément is a 39-year-old Canadian photographer known for her work exploring the hidden universe of beauty, sexuality and desire in old age. She has always pointed her lens at the margins, at those who are invisible and forced to leave this world, often too soon.

Somebody did not hodl

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Somebody did not hodl.

What happens where?

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Las Vegas to drop the pretense of privacy: Sin City changes famous 'What happens here, stays here' slogan — The Nevada city will replace it with "What happens here, only happens here." Or Branson Missouri, or Palm Springs, or any of a number of other places that have centered some of their tourism economy around shows of that nature...

ICE Neo-Nazi finally fired

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The Racist ICE Detention Center Captain Was Just Fired. We Found 132 More Posts by Him on a Neo-Nazi Site.

VICE News has now identified 132 more previously unreported posts that Frey shared on Iron March, a social network for fascists and neo-Nazis, after exposing several of his posts earlier this month that led to his firing by CoreCivic. This new trove of posts from the Iron March archive, which antifascists leaked online in November, raised even more questions about how someone so angry, with such apparently hateful views, held positions of authority working with vulnerable populations, many of whom were people of color, for so long.

Huh. I hadn't realized that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) had rebranded as Core Civic. I guess killing those inmates was bad for stock prices.

Thursday January 23rd, 2020

Today I learned that x13 in a string

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Today I learned that \x13 in a string constant does not display in XCode, which makes it just freakin' wonderful to debug why that NSDictionary member wasn't showing up when I JSON encoded it and sent it to JavaScript. How the \x13 got in there is also a mystery.

Clearview and the Surveillance State

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Clearview AI Says Its Facial Recognition Software Identified A Terrorism Suspect. The Cops Say That's Not True. So, yeah, on the one-hand this is a company over-selling its capabilities, on the other hand it's raising questions for me, like what's my Ring footage being used for?

Wednesday January 22nd, 2020

"Damn it Valentine

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"Damn it Valentine, you never plan ahead, you never take the long view, I mean here it is Monday and I'm already thinking of Wednesday... It is Monday right?"

Another preacher predator

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RT Dan Savage @fakedansavage

If kids got raped by clowns as often as they get raped by preachers it would be against the law to take your kids to the circus, part eleventy billion.

NC Pastor Arrested On 115 Felony Child Sex Charges

Tuesday January 21st, 2020

social credit score

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Violet Blue on the new morality police: Your online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score’

The security round-up at https://www.patreon.com/violetblue/ is one I read every line of.

Porn performer database leaked

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2257 comes home to roost, but nobody's gonna care because it only hurts women: Thousands of porn stars' intimate details 'exposed online'

Sources on gun violence data

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Furries make the world better

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San Jose: ‘Furries’ pulled assaulter out of vehicle, sat on him

A group of furry bystanders stepped in when they saw man ‘whaling on’ female driver

CNN version of the story

Monday January 20th, 2020

Rise of Skywalker

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On Friday we went to see The Rise of Skywalker. We were not impressed. I came away with three impressions.

  1. When I've taken screenwriting classes, the first thing they say is "write the subtext, then make sure you don't use any of that in your script". The dialog in this film was all on the nose subtext. It's like nobody took the time to actually write the script, they just pulled the dialog out of the first pass treatment and threw up some music video-like visuals behind it.
  2. I thought all the cracks about the JJ Abrams lens flare were jokes, but holy shit that was gratuitous.
  3. I came away with new appreciation for Harrison Ford as an actor, because he was the one actor who managed to actually sell that hokey-ass dialog. Which was still hokey.

Reinforced my feeling that there hasn't been a Star Wars movie since 1983, although now I definitely don't want to go back and see any of the Star Wars movies because I'm wondering if they were all that bad and it was just that I was young...

Another cop busted

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Tennessee sheriff's deputy indicted on 44 charges including rape, sexual battery amid ongoing lawsuits

Daniel Wilkey, 26, was indicted on 44 charges stemming from allegations of inappropriate behavior and assault while he was working for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, the Associated Press reports.

Empty the Pews

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Personal stories of the exodus from Christianity:

Even as the American Christian right maintains its power and influence — despite a recent dust-up with President Trump — its children continue to abandon the fold. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that fewer Americans across the political spectrum are identifying as Christian, and the phenomenon is particularly pronounced among the young.

It's a pitch piece/review for Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church[Wiki].

Border Effects

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Oregon Office of Economic Analysis: Fun Friday: More Marijuana Border Effects

Second, even if we expect — and get — border effects, the sales in counties along the Idaho border were much stronger than I anticipated. Obviously recreational marijuana is not legal in Idaho, but even after throwing the data into a rough border tax model that accounts for incomes, number of retailers, tax rates and the like, there remains a huge border effect. Roughly speaking, about 75% of Oregon sales and more like 35% of Washington sales in counties along the Idaho border appear due to the border effect itself and not local socio-economic conditions. Furthermore, and in things you cannot make up, Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420% the statewide average.

Every generation needs top rediscover

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Every generation needs top rediscover dish soap in the fountain on their own.... Helen Putnam Plaza, downtown Petaluma

Sunday January 19th, 2020

So can Google really not hire competent

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So can Google really not hire competent UX designers, or are there other reasons Google Photos is so inscrutable?

Friday January 17th, 2020

Vitamins for Sepsis trial fails

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Vitamin Treatment For Sepsis Fails In Large Trial

The largest scientific study published to date has now reported its findings. It finds no benefit at all from the "Marik cocktail." It involved more than 200 patients in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Results were presented Friday at a meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and were published online Friday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

Vietnam being repeated in Afghanistan

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This is my shocked face: Afghan war plagued by ‘mendacity’ and lies, inspector general tells Congress:

“There’s an odor of mendacity throughout the Afghanistan issue . . . mendacity and hubris,” John F. Sopko said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The problem is there is a disincentive, really, to tell the truth. We have created an incentive to almost require people to lie.”

Illegail Immigrant Terrorists

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We've found the illegal immigrants plotting terrorist acts: FBI Arrests 3 Alleged Members Of White Supremacist Group Ahead Of Richmond Rally

The FBI has arrested three alleged members of The Base — which authorities describe as a "racially motivated violent extremist group" — on charges that range from illegal transport of a machine gun to harboring aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Fear & Loathing & Muppets

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The Muppets Take Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Rebecca Saltzman

We were somewhere east of Fraggle Rock when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit light-headed, Miss Piggy. Maybe you should drive.” And suddenly there was a terrible sound around us, and the sky was full of what looked like alien squids going, “Yip yip yip! Uh-huh. Uh-huh,” swooping all around the car, which was going 100 miles per hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming, “Holy Jesus! What are these fucking puppets?”

Thursday January 16th, 2020

Go home, @Academia dot edu, you're drunk. "English Eduactaion Department"? Data quality. It's... well, it's not a thing, but it should be.

Sexual activity & Menopause

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We've seen all the evidence of orgasms and health for men, now it's starting to show up for women: Having less sex linked to earlier menopause

The researchers observed that women, who reported engaging in sexual activity weekly, were 28% less likely to have experienced menopause at any given age than women who engaged in sexual activity less than monthly. Sexual activity includes sexual intercourse, oral sex, sexual touching aand caressing or self-stimulation.

Having less sex linked to earlier menopause

Sexual activity may help delay menopause: Study

Megan Arnot, Ruth Mace. Sexual frequency is associated with age of natural menopause: results from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Royal Society Open Science, 2020; 7 (1): 191020 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.191020

Boeing's toxic culture

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If you read through the memos released in the Boeing 737 Max case, you see things like people bemoaning the fucked up management that involve an extra $5,000 in flight change fees because the project managers are getting delivery dates wrong.

Internal Boeing documents show employees discussing efforts to manipulate regulators scrutinizing the 737 Max

To some extent, pull quotes like "this airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys" are part of the trash talking that go on in any dysfunctional work environment, but reading through the memos as a whole demonstrate a horribly broken management chain, in which people had lost sight of actual costs and actual goals.

Such that when Lion Air recognized the potential challenges that their pilots might face and asked for simulator procedures, a Boeing employee said "Now frigging Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now!"

Lion Air initially wanted simulator training for 737 MAX pilots, documents show

For instance, to put that $5k in flight change fees that one employee was worried about in perspective, that's people talking about the waste of less than a ten thousandth of the benefits package that the Boeing CEO who created the environment with a cavalier view of safety.

Boeing's fired CEO could walk away with a $60 million golden parachute