Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dawkins at #RockBeyondBelief

And me without having brought a book to get signed. :p
He takes the stage at 2pm.

A little rain won't stop me from heading to @RckBeyondBelief #secularism

Rock Beyond Belief
Part of supporting our troops is not forcing them to have christian evangelism shoved down their throats. They're in a tough enough spot without having to deal with being preached at by buffoons.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Groucho Marx, Writer

Groucho in Duck Soup via NYT

Woody Allen has said that of the greats, Groucho had the richest number of gifts. He could sing, dance and act, and beyond those fairly common gifts, when you add the distinctive voice, faultless instinct for wording, genius wit, hilarious physical movement, rich supply of expressions and physical “takes” — and the list goes on — it arguably adds up to the most supremely gifted comedian of our time. 
And there’s one thing more. He could write. A born scribe. And many a Groucho fan is unaware of the degree to which this was true. 

The Republican Brain Thesis (is frightening)

Gauchat also captures, once again, the “smart idiot” effect: Conservatives becoming more factually wrong—or, in this case, more distrusting of science, which to me is basically the same thing—as their level of education advances. Here let me quote in full, because frankly, the finding can only be called highly disturbing: 
"…conservatives with high school degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees all experienced greater distrust in science over time and these declines are statistically significant. In addition, a comparison of predicted probabilities indicates that conservatives with college degrees decline more quickly than those with only a high school degree. These results are quite profound, because they imply that conservative discontent with science was not attributable to the uneducated but to rising distrust among educated conservatives."
Crooked Timber

#FF @Mike_FTW: Coincidence?

Every time Dick Cheney needs a new heart a black kid gets killed.Sun Mar 25 02:52:42 via web

I'd be careful if I were Mike. These kinds of jokes can get a fellow shot in the face.

I should have retired gracefully from twitter a month ago after reaching my pinnacle ...

A fav by @robdelaney, even though it's not for anything particularly clever, is the highest praise I'll ever earn on twitter.

The tweet? It's about Downton Abbey in reply to:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The mental process of sizing up your next-cubicle neighbor at work ...

I give him a hard time, but he's a good guy.
He really needs to move on though. 

A glimpse into the inner workings of my mind ...

The Dingus
Yesterday, I was presented with a 'traveling trophy' at work. (For Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, if you must know.) It's a crystal globe thing-a-ma-bob, fairly heavy for it's size. As I accepted it, my mind flashed to an image of Captain Jacobi, fresh from San Francisco docks where his ship, all afire, was still being extinguished, bringing the Falcon to Spade's office. The only thing I could think was, "Oh no, I can't remember the name of Jacobi's ship off the top of my head! I need to read and watch The Maltese Falcon again, ASAP!" [Don't worry. If you've forgotten too, I've hidden it behind the spoiler barrier below ... ]

The Maltese Falcon
Image Trees for Lunch
I only read Trees's masthead and saw the post I borrowed this image from after taking a copy of it. Good grief, that's some wingnuttia going on there.

It would be a shame if this was how we finally arrived at an active Major League ballplayer coming out ...

Documents: Major League Pitcher Carl Pavano -

Pavano Platoon Advantage
"I feel a bit violated, but I hope they charged me with something because I will bring it to trial…finally I'll be able to tell my story and I will have my closure, which was the whole point to begin with." 
According to the affidavit, Bedard sent several rambling messages to DeGennaro, including one in which Bedard criticizes Pavano and his family for ignoring the relationship and for prejudice against homosexuals.
I've been wondering for quite a while when the inevitable would happen.

If Mr. Pavano is straight, I hope he has the grace to not treat the rumors/allegations as something to be ashamed of. Just by saying, "who cares if I am or not, what does it have to do with how I pitch?" he could do a world of good for the sport.

If Mr. Pavano is gay, I hope he has the courage to be himself.

The only person with anything to be ashamed of here, as I see it, is the alleged blackmailer.


RoboBonobo: Because apes obviously need a weaponized telepresence robot:

RoboBonobo & Team via Extreme Tech

What you’re looking at really is a bonobo bust stuck on top of a mobile, robotic base. Dubbed the RoboBonobo, the robot will eventually be controlled by apes armed with wireless Android tablets — much in the same way that a soldier remotely pilots a UAV.
There's a kickstarter so you can help fund the work. Because of course there is.

Brought to my attention by Will F. (Who knows important ape-related news when he sees it.)

Of our affectations, vowel-shifting, and the politics of accented speech. (Or, why I'll never talk like I'm from #Fuquay, no matter how long I live here.)

Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics | The Crux | Discover Magazine
Dialect map The Crux

Labov suggests that it’s these deep-seated political disagreements that create an invisible borderline barring the encroachment of Northern Cities Vowels. When he looked at the relationship between voting patterns by county over the last three Presidential elections and the degree to which speakers in these counties shifted their vowels, he found a tight correlation between the two. And the states that have participated in the vowel shift have also tended to resist implementing the death penalty. 
Do vowel-shifters sound more liberal to modern ears? Yes, at least to some extent. Labov had students in Bloomington, Indiana, listen to a vowel-shifting speaker from Detroit and a non-vowel-shifter from Indianapolis. The students rated both speakers as equal in probable intelligence, education and trustworthiness. They also didn’t think they would have different attitudes about abortion (both speakers were female). But they did think the vowel-shifting speaker was more likely to be in favor of gun control and affirmative action.
The Morning News

Reading is fundamental. For real.

Bringing Up a Young Reader on E-Books -

E-readin' tykes image NYT
Julianna’s teacher, Kourtney Denning, sees e-books as essential. “Old books don’t really cut it anymore,” she said. “We have to transform our learning as we know it.”
Look, I love my kindle. I make no bones about it. Heck, I like it so much I am trying to give one away and am, frankly, surprised it's turning out to be so hard to do so.  But, self-promoting giveaways aside, no. No, no, no, e-books are not "essential" and "old books" do, in fact, "cut it," still. (And I'm already including the kindle -- not the Fire, the plain old, good for nothing much more than reading kindle -- in the "old books" category, without giving them preference over ink on paper books.)

Dammit, kids don't need music and blinking lights with every stupid thing in order for it to hold their attention. Or, more accurately I suspect, destroy their ability to fix their attention on something. We know that the mental discipline to delay gratification is key to growing into a properly functioning adult. We also know, or strongly suspect, reading is a powerful tool for empowering the mind.

Let them wait and get their music and blinking lights from TV and video games in their proper dose. Reading is its own reward. Let it be enough. Show them that it is enough. It is both sufficient and necessary to developing a keen mind.  Says the old-timer who grew up on paper books, audio cassettes, and the Atari 2600.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Val Kilmer sees Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the context of Mark Twain. #SoundsAboutRight

Val Kilmer Really Getting Into This Mark Twain Stuff -- Vulture

Kilmer as Twain Vulture
"In terms of outreach and power and respect, I think Jon Stewart is a worthy comparison because he's got a very specific agenda and he seems to be getting, even gaining, a respect from the conservative community because, like Twain, his stuff is so — you can't really deny him," Kilmer tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Twain was kind of a ridiculous showman and self-promoter, like Stephen Colbert, so that's the kind of American satirist," he says. "There's a lot in comparing that style of presenting yourself as completely absurd but making really valid points along the way."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shorter Tillis: You Can Be Apathetic, People of Conscience, It'll Get Repealed Later Anyways

Tillis: Marriage amendment likely to be reversed:

NCGA Speaker Thom Tillis (R) WRAL

Tillis was quoted as predicting the amendment will pass with about 54 percent of the vote, but will be repealed within 20 years because young people are more supportive of marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Yes, it likely will be repealed eventually. That doesn't stop it being wrong now. The time to vote it against is May 8th, 2012.


Monday, March 26, 2012

c-i-e Twelfth Blogiversary (Hint: there's a giveaway entry form at the end of the post ...)

Thanks to everyone who's visited. For what it's worth, last month saw the most hits this blog has received (by a nose) since blogger started keeping stats. You're not part of a very big crowd, but I like to think you're the smartest, sexiest group of discerning readers the interwebs have to offer ;)

Last year I prattled on a bit about my motives for blogging, and I'll refer you back to that for some overarching themes; but, there's something more. Writers write, to a degree, because they need to express urgency (about something) and hope to exert some measure of influence. I'm not only saving these links and cracking wise so there'll be record (of sorts) of my mental landscape over time, there's an honest attempt here to change somebody's, anybody's, way of thinking. Coming to you spiritually direct, y'know what I'm saying?  There is a void, I sense, in the public discourse where 'regular folks' (not professional media heads, not public intellectuals), working people trying hard to get by, demonstrate they are engaged beyond the simple act of voting. We are insulted by stupidity, furious at being lied to, and we demand honesty and accountability from those who wield true power. We are talked down to and mislead so relentlessly ... we all need to argue and stir it up and challenge the unthinking and smug whose parroting of the malevolent line peddled by sinister hoarders (of wealth and privilege) holds us all back. I read all the time about how there are too many blogs and blah, blah, blah. The truth is, there aren't enough. (That is to say, there are enough spammy blogs, tumblrs devoted to cats, etc. There aren't enough sincere attempts to engage in conversation, to listen and learn, and share silly memes in passing ...)

Secularism, compassion, justice: these things matter. They matter a lot.

For example, on May 8th, 2012, the voters here in North Carolina will have the opportunity to either push back against cruelty and intolerance by voting down Amendment One, or supporting those who wish to (further) enshrine into law an impediment to the pursuit of happiness of our LGBT brothers and sisters. Voting for, or abstaining from voting on, Amendment One is a statement, and it's a statement I'd like to do everything I can to encourage people to think carefully about before they commit themselves to such a statement.

If I can only be influential about one thing through this forum, I'd like it to be as an advocate for secularism.

I'm not interested in stamping out religion from personal lives, don't really care what happens in churches (well, except when children are exploited), and recognize they have done and can continue do good work as long as they are vigilant in policing the behavior of their clergy and congregations. There is simply no place for religion in schools, in legislation, or in the workplace. It's divisive, stultifying, and arrogant when it demands respect outside those private settings. There was an excellent discussion on Up with Chris Hayes yesterday morning about the intersection of faith and politics, much more in depth and thoughtful than what we normally see on TV. It's well worth seeking out the video or the transcript.

I'm doing two things to celebrate the my twelfth blogiversary: first, I'm going to ask you to help me promote this blog a bit by giving away a $79 Amazon Gift Card that can be used towards a kindle, or anything the winner likes (although, as an avid user, I strongly recommend the kindle); second, I'm making a donation to the Freedom From Religion Foundation to support the work they do to keep church and state separate, and educate the public about secular values.

Thanks again for visiting, reading, commenting, and sharing. The connections and conversations I've made and had in the course of working on this blog mean a lot to me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The politics of justice?

The Supreme Court is more concerned with the politics of the health care debate than the law. - Slate Magazine


... I’d suggest that there is an equally powerful countervailing force at work on the justices. Because, as it happens, the current court is almost fanatically worried about its legitimacy and declining public confidence in the institution. For over a decade now, the justices have been united in signaling that they are moderate, temperate, and minimalist in their duties. From Chief Justice Robert’s description of himself as just an “umpire” and his speeches about humility and the need for unanimity, to Stephen Breyer’s latest book Making Our Democracy Work—a meditation on all the ways the courts depend on public confidence. Roberts even nodded at that court-wide anxiety by devoting most of his 2011 State of the Judiciary report to issues of recusal and judicial integrity, and by reversing his own policy on same-day audio release, in order to allow the American public to listen in on the health care cases next week (albeit on a two-hour delay). That means that the court goes into this case knowing that the public is desperately interested in the case, desperately divided about the odds, and deeply worried about the neutrality of the court.

Human Kindness, We Could Always Use an Extra Pint

The greatest meeting of strangers in history | Roman Krznaric:

Evacuees via Outrospection

While empathy has periodically collapsed on a collective scale – just think of colonialism in Latin America or the Holocaust – there have also been moments when it has emerged as a force for positive and radical social change. If we want to tackle today’s global crises – from wealth inequality and armed conflict to climate change and food insecurity – we need to learn from the past and understand how empathy can be harnessed as a powerful tool to shift human behaviour and ignite social action. And one of the most interesting places to look is the evacuation of British children in World War Two.
The Browser

The Sunday Not-So-Funnies: B.C.

Johnny Hart to Appear B.C. | The Comics Journal

Image TCJ

Hart, caught in the riptide of Jewish outrage, issued a statement, calling Replacement Theory “an idiot theology.” Said he: “Replacement Theory is the stuff of lunatics and self-deluded fools. There is no foundation for it in scripture and there is no room for it in responsible society.” And in the orchestrated expressions of outrage, he saw a Jewish plot.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In a civilized society, we take the killing of another human being seriously.

Robert's-daily-dose: The Definitive Statement About the Killing of Trayvon Martin
" ... I'm an elderly white woman with health problems that limit my mobility, and even in my prime I was never physically robust. I've never been convicted of a crime, and haven't been arrested since 1964 when I picketed a draft board. But if, in some horrible future, a career criminal breaks into my apartment armed with a machete and hopped up on crank and angel dust, and I somehow manage to kill him with my grandfather’s WWI revolver, here's what I expect would happen. The police would read me my rights, and then politely escort me in handcuffs to the nearest ER for drug and alcohol testing. They'd get a search warrant for my car and apartment, subpoena my cell phone records, and confiscate my computer for the forensic IT people to pick over. I'd be fingerprinted and then spend many, many hours being interrogated with my lawyer present. All that would happen because I'd just killed one of my fellow human beings, and that is not something that civilized people dismiss lightly, regardless of the age, race, gender, or social class of those involved."
The Stand Your Ground law, which some would have us believe is "common sense," is anything but. It is institutionalized contempt for human life.

Jeb Bush, glibly covering for his "common sense" approval of a radical law.
Image via

The Greatest Story About the Internet on the Internet

Erwin dribbled out his story over the course of the afternoon, switching back and forth between Reddit and work. Normally, a popular comment on a front-page thread might get 400 to 500 points, but by now each segment of Prufrock451′s story was racking up thousands of points. He was an instant Reddit celebrity. By the end of the day, his comment karma would nearly double, from 25,000 to over 40,000, and more than 250,000 people would view the thread. Whenever he reloaded the page he saw dozens of new replies. 
“Good god,” one person wrote, “don’t stop, man.” 
The world beyond Reddit began to take notice.

#FF @slennonhugs: Slam poetry just got slamalicious ...

I'm a slam poet. *slams you onto a red wheelbarrow* SORRY I SLAMMED YOUR PLUMS THAT WERE IN THE ICEBOX *slams a copy of Howl on your dick*Sat Mar 24 13:33:37 via web


Pivoting, for no good reason, to poetry tattoos we find this byoot ...

Why don't they listen to reason?

... Haidt argues that people are fundamentally intuitive, not rational. If you want to persuade others, you have to appeal to their sentiments. But Haidt is looking for more than victory. He’s looking for wisdom. That’s what makes “The Righteous Mind” well worth reading. Politics isn’t just about manipulating people who disagree with you. It’s about learning from them. 
Haidt seems to delight in mischief. Drawing on ethnography, evolutionary theory and experimental psychology, he sets out to trash the modern faith in reason. In Haidt’s retelling, all the fools, foils and villains of intellectual history are recast as heroes. David Hume, the Scottish philosopher who notoriously said reason was fit only to be “the slave of the passions,” was largely correct.
This is my favorite intersection: science, politics, philosophy, and theism. That said, reading this review I didn't encounter anything like a fresh take or new insight. Anyone who's spun around the TED videos on YouTube, I'm sure, has heard all this before.

I'm partial to Hume, even when I disagree, so I bristled a little at Saletan's implication that Hume is one of the "fools, foils and villains" of intellectual history.

Program Alert: Up worth getting up early for on a Sunday morning ...

Richard Dawkins - MSNBC's "Up w/Chris Hayes" covering atheism in America - Sunday at 8am ET - - - UP with Chris Hayes -

The two-hour program (8-10am ET) will talk to several prominent figures in the field, examining how religious views intersect with our political views on both the left and the right, and will discuss the marginalization of those who do not believe in God. The special program comes one day after Saturday’s Reason Rally for atheism on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
I'm hoping that the two hour format and the high level of discourse we expect from Mr. Hayes and his guests  will get us beyond the the usual talking points very quickly and into meaningful discussion about how critical secularism is to fair and just governance.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I would like to apply to be a question writer for ‘The American Bible Challenge’

Jeff Foxworthy to host ‘The American Bible Challenge’ - The Washington Post

“It will be interesting to find out what people really know, and an opportunity to present the Bible in a fun and entertaining way,” Foxworthy added.
For the category Unbetrothed Virgins a good question would be: "If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, what besides marrying her, must he do?" Because it's probably hard to remember the correct number of shekels to pay her father.

I can't way to see the look on that fifth-grader's face when he gets that question.

Ping Pong Hustlin'

Marty Reisman, a Throwback to a Bolder Era of Table Tennis -


He is known to measure the height of table tennis nets with $100 bills because, sure, a $1 bill is just as long, but why be “chintzy” about it?
I have a new respect for Susan Sarandon based on this article. A good time start planning for your trip to Cary for the second round Olympic Team Trials. My view from the stands during the first round of trials back in February:
  Gao's March to Victory

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pedey busting up Orsillo #RedSox

 More of this during the regular season wouldn't hurt. Bobby V. might not need much encouragement.

Nike Adds Insult to Injury With Abominable Husky Illo #UConn

Chitwood & Hobbs, Rise As One For the NCAA’s March Madness Nike has...

For the NCAA’s March Madness Nike has put together a fantastic set of movie poter-esque prints for a few of the usual contenders. Well, they were considered contenders at the beginning of the tournament — sorry, Duke.
"Sorry, Duke"?!  No, it's UConn that gets the shaft here. All the other posters look to have been made to celebrate the programs depicted, ours looks like it was slapped together by some C-student in the UMass Graphic Design program.

Husky Nation, surely somebody out there can do or has done better?

North Carolina: Hollywood East #NC

'The Hunger Games' fuels Hollywood's appetite for North Carolina -

NC location shooting from The Hunger Games

From “Blue Velvet” to “Bull Durham,” North Carolina has a long filmmaking tradition. With the release of this weekend’s much-anticipated debut of “The Hunger Games,” state film officials are hoping the state will re-emerge as one of the top shooting destinations outside of California.
The Morning News

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Suggestion that those well-crafted sentences (previous post), strung together in novels, are deeply enriching.

The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction -

Neuroimages University of Limerick

The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.” Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. Indeed, in one respect novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings.

His soul swooned slowly as he read the words she wrote faintly on the page and faintly trailing away, like the descent of their last end, directed at once to the living and the dead. (An exercise suggested by the article.)

The Sentence as a Miniature Narrative -

Image from "The Dead"

Just as there is no one perfect boat, there is no one perfect sentence structure. Mark Twain wrote sentences that were as humble, sturdy and American as a canoe; William Faulkner wrote sentences as gaudy as a Mississippi riverboat. But no matter the atmospherics, the best sentences bolt a clear subject to a dramatic predicate, making a mini-narrative.

Quick #TenYearsLater check on Talisman Ethnic Cleansing, Inc.

cryptonaut-in-exile: Compare and Contrast

What the frack, Talsiman?!
Image via

Ten years ago I was furious reading about the actions of Talisman. Ten years later, I wish our Supreme Court's fetish for corporate personhood had a correspondent desire for corporate accountability. Talisman, to this day, is doing just fine, thank you very much.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The 'Re-Nig' bumper sticker and a suggested response ...

We're moving backwards.
Why do they have to revert back to this? Our nation has become a place of shame.  More photos from Mark Pogue

I've prepared a printable document that I will place on the windshield of any car I happen to see, and I hope I don't, with that sticker on it.

Please feel free to share and revise as you see fit. If you do, I'd love to see your response; please share a link or the text in the comments.

This Heaven Gives Me Migraine: Cultural evolution, natural selection, and a look at what it's "natural" for great apes to do.

Are We “Meant” to Have Language and Music? | The Crux | Discover Magazine
What do ironing and hang-gliding have in common? Not much really, except that we weren’t designed to do either of them. And that goes for a million other modern-civilization things we regularly do but are not “supposed” to do. We’re fish out of water, living in radically unnatural environments and behaving ridiculously for a great ape. So, if one were interested in figuring out which things are fundamentally part of what it is to be human, then those million crazy things we do these days would not be on the list.
 A song to play while you contemplate what natural behavior is, and whether ideas of what's "natural" or "unnatural" ought to have any sort of sway in deciding what behaviors ought to be culturally acceptable ...

The Browser

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Color-coded banners to address #Fuquay-Varina downtown(s) confusion.

The town’s unique name and two downtown layout have drawn more than a few confused looks. 
The real obstacle is explaining how to get from the Fuquay side to the Varina side or vice versa. 
“If they come in on 401 they don’t understand there is a Varina downtown,” said director Naomi Riley of the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Association. “It’s the same thing if they come in on (N.C.) 55. They don’t understand we have a downtown on the Fuquay side.”
It's a legitimate need. I've struggled trying to give directions to visitors trying to get from one side of town to the other.

NC State rep./amateur sociologist conducting twitter research on bigotry? Or, just a bigot? You decide. #tcot

"People, it's just research! I'm a scientist!" - State Rep. Torbett (R)

State Representative John Torbett had a flurry of comments Thursday afternoon after he reposted a picture that had President Barack Obama in a white turban. 
The president was among former commander-in-chiefs in a picture collage titled "American Presidents in Uniform." 
Torbett took down the post, but not before it generated both support and criticism that it was insensitive. On Friday, Torbett expressed his regrets about reposting the picture. 
"I was trying to gauge response, and inevitably, I got some,” he said.

Rep. John Torbett posts pic of POTUS in turban on FB, claims to be seeking feedback. He got plenty. #ncga. #ncpolSat Mar 17 04:10:05 via TweetDeck

Friday, March 16, 2012

#Duke losing to #Lehigh is schadenfreudeliscious.

ANIMATED/PHOTOS: This Is What It Looks Like When Duke Loses To Lehigh - From Our Editors -

Images remixed from

Duke's loss to Lehigh in the 2012 NCAA Tournament was not necessarily "one of the all-time shockers" -- heck, Missouri's loss to Norfolk State hours earlier may have been more shocking -- but it may set new records on the Internet Schadenfreude Meter.
A few hours earlier, Missouri lost to 15th seeded Norfolk State, which was also pretty exciting. But, there's nothing like an ignominious Duke defeat as a soothing balm on the wound of a UConn loss in their first game.

As I write this Detroit is hanging with Kansas well into the first half of their game, and Michigan State is not exactly running away from LIU. Doubt another 'dog will win, but I'll be watching all the same.

Horse ecomics

A.V. Club

Manipulating morals: scientists target drugs that improve behaviour | Science | The Guardian

Manipulating morals: scientists target drugs that improve behaviour | Science | The Guardian

The Guardian
A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries - these may sound like the stuff of science fiction but with medicine getting closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book that reviews scientific developments in the field.
Colin McEnroe

Southern Miss Band displays complete lack of class, disgraces their school and themselves.

Southern Miss Band Hurls 'Where's Your Green Card?' Chant At Latino Player : The Two-Way : NPR

Rodriguez preparing to shoot free throws while band chants.

The president of the University of Southern Mississippi is apologizing today, after members of the school's band chanted "Where's your green card?" while a Latino player took a free throw during the NCAA tournament.
Thinking of a few choice chants that the Southern Mississippi band might not like chanted back at them.

 The Morning News Afternoon Edition

Chimpanzee PD (for real)

Chimpanzees have police officers, too


Chimpanzees are interested in social cohesion and have various strategies to guarantee the stability of their group. Anthropologists now reveal that chimpanzees mediate conflicts between other group members, not for their own direct benefit, but rather to preserve the peace within the group. Their impartial intervention in a conflict -- so-called "policing" -- can be regarded as an early evolutionary form of moral behavior.
Marginal Revolution

As the patriarchy seeks to reassert domination of women's bodies, a look back to the early 20th c.

The precise mechanism for such childhood memory loss continues to be debated by psychologists, but the common experiences of adults who share this kind of amnesia form a consistent pattern. Like those children who suffered the effects of hospitalism in the early part of the 20th century, the absence of childhood attachment with a caregiver results in physiological changes that have potentially lifelong consequences. 
"I want to know so much more about my early childhood and I simply don't," Hrdy confesses. "I have a feeling that others of my generation and social class are very much in the same boat."
Congressional hearings on the health of women where women are considered unqualified to testify, then derided as sluts when they do in alternate hearings, mandatory ultrasounds (some of the transvaginal, tape-the-eyelids-open-and-make-them-watch variety), and the like are all over the news, but does history suggest men have always been the best stewards of female reproductive health, and the most knowledgeable about the care and handling of infants?

The Morning News

Record-setting milestones in sport: Sachin scores his hundredth ton

A record made for centuries, Sachin scores his hundredth ton - Hindustan Times:

Sachin Tendulkar on Friday became the first batsman in history to score 100 international centuries, adding another milestone in his record-breaking career.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"God, I'm confused by my insatiable desire for free gay porn" #RedStateGoogleSearches

Calamities of Nature - Holy Hypocrites

Conflicted much?

Hilarious -- Google searches for "God" and "free gay porn" by state ... Mar 16 01:36:25 via TweetDeck

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#Bracket deadline nears ...

Got some free groups I need a little competition in. If you've already got an account or a yahoo account, there's a bragging rights only group here for you.

Alternately, if you're looking for someone to join, and talk trash in, your group ... I'm your huckleberry.

ESPNRememba Kemba (2012), password: UCONN
Yahoo!: Bracket Masters or G+ers (both public)

Hope to see you there.

Maeda on leadership: " ... entitlement is the path furthest away from enlightenment"

A passage from, Redesigning Leadership, and a consideration for a breed of revenue-draining, self-satisfied CEOs:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Maglev train to low earth orbit that will never happen of the day ...

Startram - maglev train to low earth orbit


Getting into space is one of the harder tasks to be taken on by humanity. The present cost of inserting a kilogram (2.2 lb) of cargo by rocket into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is about US$10,000. A manned launch to LEO costs about $100,000 per kilogram of passenger. But who says we have to reach orbit by means of rocket propulsion alone? Instead, imagine sitting back in a comfortable magnetic levitation (maglev) train and taking a train ride into orbit.
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