Tuesday November 19th, 2019

1,700 untested rape kits

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I'm signing up for yet another freakin' social network web site. As if there weren't a gazillion places you could already find me. This one's the Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia guy) founded WT:Social, which started out as some sort of Wiki news site.

Membership has a waiting list unless you donate or get people to sign up using your personal links; I may donate, although right now the fact that they hide the API docs until you've signed up, and that it's yet another centralized social media site, means I'm not too excited about that, but my links are:

Saturday November 16th, 2019

It's like he gets off on harassment

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NoFap Founder Is Suing a Neuroscientist Who Thinks Masturbating Is Fine

Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist who studies sexual science through a neuroscience and physiology lens, has researched so-called "porn addiction" and found no scientific basis for it. “These online communities have whipped themselves into a frenzy when in the past men wouldn’t have been concerned," Prause told the Guardian in 2016. "Then the next time they go to have sex they are causing themselves more distress."

Friday November 15th, 2019

On the ground in Chicago

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On the ground in Chicago. Don't expect to see a fire like that during the interminable O'Hare taxi...

Indiana Judges gone Wild

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3 Indiana Judges Suspended After White Castle Brawl That Left 2 Of Them Wounded A night of drinking led to trying to go to a strip club at 3AM, finding that it was closed, which resulted in a trip to White Castle ('cause, hey, who hasn't been there, even if the local version of White Castle was Krystal), which ended up in one of them making gestures at a passing car that resulted in a fight and two of the judges getting shot.

Or, as I called it in my 20s, Thursday.

In between, the three judges took a number of actions that "discredited the entire Indiana judiciary," according to an opinion posted by the Indiana Supreme Court this week, suspending the judges.

Thursday November 14th, 2019

Wednesday November 13th, 2019

Trump & disabled vets charities

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Just keeping this around for finding later: FactCheck.org: Posts Falsely Claim Trump ‘Stole’ From Vets

State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla, in her Nov. 7 court order, wrote that the $2.8 million donated to the Trump Foundation “was used for Mr. Trump’s political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff, rather than by the Foundation,” in violation of state law. However, she acknowledged that “the Funds did ultimately reach their intended destinations, i.e., charitable organizations supporting veterans.”

on the new Fred Rogers movie

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The Atlantic: My Friend Mister Rogers — I first met him 21 years ago, and now our relationship is the subject of a new movie. He’s never been more revered—or more misunderstood.. So hard to find a summary pull quote of this, but...

I had counted on the plot’s many departures from my life to insulate me from the emotional effect of seeing some version of myself up there, but in the screening room I had no such protection, because the director, Marielle Heller, had been so faithful to the essence of the story. A long time ago, a man had seen something in me I hadn’t seen in myself, and now I was watching him see something in me and couldn’t help but ask, all over again: Who was he? Who was I? And what did he see? “You love people like me,” Matthew Rhys tells Tom Hanks. And when Hanks asks, “What are people like you?,” Rhys answers, “Broken people.” And that broke me, though I had never uttered those words to Fred in my life. He saw something in me, yes. Did he also see through me? Was my brokenness so obvious to him back then? Was Fred’s offer of friendship also a form of judgment?

5 myths about Ukraine

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autistic student killed by school staff

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Exclusive: Mother speaks about autistic son who died after being restrained at El Dorado Hills school

Max grew up in Davis and started his education at a nearby public school, Birch Lane Elementary. His family called those two years a wonderful experience — he had autism, but required no aid and very few services from his teachers. Max later began attending Sacramento’s Sierra School before he enrolled at Guiding Hands in the fall of 2018, and spent only a few months there before he died.

Manslaughter charges filed against staff at El Dorado Hills school in autistic student’s death

Electric Cars & Longevity

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Electric cars are changing the cost of driving

Few have driven a Tesla to the point at which the vehicle really starts to show its age. But Tesloop, a shuttle service in Southern California comprised solely of Teslas, was ticking the odometers of its cars well past 300,000 miles with no signs of slowing.

A tiny pharmacy is identifying big problems with common drugs, including Zantac

Clark-Joseph, an economist with some chemistry training, was drawn to the idea because he kept getting sick. In graduate school, he refilled a prescription only to find that the new, supposedly identical drug didn’t work. When his doctor told him to try another pharmacy because he probably got a bad batch, he was appalled. After similar incidents occurred, he started searching for a lab that would verify the chemical contents of his medication. When he didn’t find an obvious solution, he called his college friend David Light, who had worked in biotech, and suggested that they partner on a business that would verify the chemical contents of drug

It's a marketing piece for Valisure, an online pharmacy that buys drugs in batches and tests for conformance to the expected, and has found problems large enough to cause recalls.

But the notion that there's that much variation in our drug supply (not to mention the various ways in which there are unanticipated drug behaviors in drugs that have gotten to market) is wow.

tocopheryl acetate

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This is fascinating, it's how one producer and a lack of transparency in the supply chain led to a whole bunch of vape oil producers using tocopheryl-acetate in their products pretty much simultaneously, leading to all sorts of health-related issues. Leafly: From ‘Veronica Mars’ to toxic vapes: The rise and fall of Honey Cut

plausible synthesis

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Further filling in the "how did life form?" question: Unified prebiotically plausible synthesis of pyrimidine and purine RNA ribonucleotides Science 04 Oct 2019: Vol. 366, Issue 6461, pp. 76-82 DOI: 10.1126/science.aax2747

In the absence of biological catalysts and metabolism, can atmospheric and geochemical processes provide the substrates and conditions required for production of biological molecules? Becker et al. devised an abiotic synthetic scheme that allows for accumulation of both purine and pyrimidine nucleoside mono- and diphosphates (see the Perspective by Hud and Fialho). A key starting material for this chemistry, hydroxylamine and/or hydroxylamine disulfonate, can form under plausible early atmospheric conditions. Cycles between wet and dry conditions provide the environments necessary to complete formation of purine and pyrimidine bases essentially in one pot.

Suspicionless search of electronics unconstitutional

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ACLU: Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

BOSTON — In a major victory for privacy rights, a federal court in Boston today ruled that the government’s suspicionless searches of international travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment. The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

Affordable Housing in SF

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98-Year-Old Man Fulfills Mother's Dying Wish To Turn Her SF Property Into Affordable Housing

When San Francisco artist, scientist, and activist Maria “Mitzi” Kolisch died in 1987, she was in the process of trying to turn her humble cottage property in Diamond Heights into housing for low-income adolescents who had aged out of the foster-care system. 32 years later, her son — now 98 years old himself — has finally succeeded in redeveloping her property into eight affordable family townhouses with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

Monday November 11th, 2019

Cycling advocacy OTD

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No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture

They ended up gathering enough material for a book, which was released in August 2018 from Island Press: Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality. It’s a tour of Dutch bicycling culture that attempts to extract lessons that can be applied to other cities, including, yes, American cities.

Walking and cycling good for health even in cities with higher levels of air pollution

The health benefits of walking and cycling outweigh the negative effects on health of air pollution, even in cities with high levels of air pollution, according to a study led by researchers from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. This new evidence strengthens the case for supporting cycling even in polluted cities – an effort that in turn can help reduce vehicle emissions.

Sunday November 10th, 2019

Hide The Pain Harold

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You've seen this guy, he's got the strange grimace and is often holding a coffee cup with one hand on a laptop, and the stock photo of him has garnered all sorts of captions... Experience: my face became a meme

My wife hated Hide the Pain Harold – until I got paid for a Hungarian TV commercial

Florida Man

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Via Shadow, shades of Cloud to Butt: RT The Daily Show @TheDailyShow:

Trump changed his permanent residence to Florida, so we made a browser extension that changes his name to "Florida Man."

Download: http://MakeTrumpFloridaMan.com

Railroads, land grants & economic productivity

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Twitter thread on the economic effects of railroad land grants

The paper is Land Concentration and Long-Run Development:Evidence from the Frontier United States Cory Smith

Summary: Because of the competing desires of the Homestead Act and wanting to get the railroads built quickly, alternating blocks of land were given to lots of individual small owners, or put under the ownership of one large company, and this paper looks at their relative economic productivity. Spoiler: The small land grants were way more productive.

How to read sheet music

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How to read sheet music (YouTube video)

(I think this one came in by way of Mark)

Gender Reveal, again

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Gender reveal stunt led to plane crash in Texas

Another gender reveal stunt went horribly wrong and led to a recent plane crash in Texas, according to a National Transportation Safety Board accident report released Friday.

DAs, incarceration rates, & crime

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The Effect of District Attorneys on Local Criminal Justice Outcomes Sam Krumholz, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics, January 3, 2019


In the United States, elected district attorneys' offices prosecute over 85% of all felony cases, but we know little about their effect on local criminal justice outcomes. Using a newly-collected dataset of district attorney elections, I show that the a Republican district attorney leads to a 18-21% increase in new prison admissions in the two years following their election, while a nonwhite district attorney leads to a 10% decline. In both cases, there are no significant effects on local crime or arrest rates. These results show that the identity of local district attorneys is an important determinant of incarceration rates.

Saturday November 9th, 2019

Like omigosh

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Like omigosh, you should like visit gay Philly on Facebook. Language is weird.

Thursday November 7th, 2019

Contra Costa judge

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I know a lawyer for whom this is a great victory, and this is the second Contra Costa judge removed in a short time, out of something like 111 in the history of California: State Comission removes Contra Costa Judge from bench for multiple acts of misconduct.

The Commission on Judicial Performance, which disciplines judges, determined Laettner engaged in five instances of willful misconduct and 11 instances of prejudicial misconduct. The commission launched a formal investigation into Laettner last year into nine counts of bad conduct alleged by public defenders who appeared before him.

Laettner is the second Contra Costa judge to be removed for misconduct since late 2018, when the commission kicked ex-Judge Bruce C. Mills off the bench for multiple counts of misconduct.

Wednesday November 6th, 2019

Targeted for firearms

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When the YouTube ad is a music producer

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When the YouTube ad is a music producer pitching classes, and has all sorts of sibilance... Hmmm...

There's that old line about how

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There's that old line about how computers let us make more mistakes faster than Tequila and handguns combined. But if we learn from our mistakes, and combine all three...

Saved so I can show to my square dancing friend John, who collects Nash Metropolitans: For sale: Tiny Gasser: 1954 Nash Metropolitan, configured for drag racing.