Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Asked and Answered

Rhetorical Question: "Where are all the flying cars we were promised?"

Real-World Answer: Here.

Bill Says Chill

The former President says his wife might want to take a break for a while, and suggests all those chattering about a presidential run give her one. And I agree: the best insurance for a Hillary win in 2016 would be a highly successful second-term for Obama. Oh, and a kick-ass blue wave of Democratic wins in the 2014 mid-term elections.

Sure, let's talk Hillary 2016... in December 2014.

Quote of the Last 800,000 Years



"The news that CO2 is near 400 ppm for the first time highlights a question that scientists have been investigating using a variety of methods: when was the last time that CO2 levels were this high, and what was the climate like back then? There is no single, agreed-upon answer to those questions as studies show a wide date range from between 800,000 to 15 million years ago. The most direct evidence comes from tiny bubbles of ancient air trapped in the vast ice sheets of Antarctica. By drilling for ice cores and analyzing the air bubbles, scientists have found that, at no point during at least the past 800,000 years have atmospheric CO2 levels been as high as they are now.

That means that in the entire history of human civilization, CO2 levels have never been this high." ~Andrew Freedman

(Hat-tip to TheDish)

History of a Phrase


"Coming out" has been around for a while, but "closet" is relatively recent. Read about it here.

Silence Equals Failure


Today, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced he'll submit an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill that would enable gay Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States.

President Obama has already announced support for this effort.

The Republicans are already saying this will scuttle the entire immigration reform effort.

If we want to be included in this bill--and if we want to avoid being blamed for its failure--we must act now. You'd better believe the very-organized and active Religious Right will be making phone calls and sending emails. It's not enough for us to expect Congress or the President to "do the right thing." We must make it clear to them that they must--and that we'll have their back in the 2014 mid-term elections.

The Congressional Switchboard is 202-224-3121.

If you prefer email or letter-writing, here's a helpful web portal.

The White House page on Immigration is here.

How The Ball Bounces


Charles Barkley gets asked if he ever played pro ball with gay players before.

"Of course I did. Everybody did," Barkley said. "Everybody played with a gay teammate, Dan. And it’ s no big deal."

Good Question

LZ Granderson asks, "If Clarence Thomas isn't 'elite,' who is?"

Monday, May 06, 2013

Let's Be Careful Out There


Remember that drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea that was showing up in Asia? The one that is unusually more infectious via oral sex?

Well, it seems to have made it to Hawaii. Stay tuned--and stay safe, boys and girls.

Forward


Pew Research Center: "Seven in ten Americans born after 1980 believe gay men and lesbians should be able to marry legally."

Bi-Polar Planet Watch


Wetter and Dryer: NASA rainfall study predicts climate change will increase extremes of both drought and rainfall.

(Photo by me)

A New Hope


J.J. Abrams Now Suggests 'Star Wars' May Force Him To Drop 'Star Trek 3'

(If so, my eyes weep with thanks.)

The Man Behind Jackie Robinson

You might think you know the Jackie Robinson story, but there's a part that rarely gets told. This week, OnTheMedia helps remedy that.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Reality Check


"The idea that any right is unrestricted is totally at odds with history, the law, and reality."

Michael Tomasky reminds us that there are no "absolute" rights in the Constitution; all of them have restrictions and limitations.

What Almost Was


Saturday, May 04, 2013

Why I Don't Watch American Idol, The Voice, Etc.

"As Amber started to sing Rodgers & Hart’s “My Funny Valentine,” Connick stopped her. He asked her what the song is about. "What does it mean, 'Your looks are laughable?'" he asked her, or "'Is your figure less than Greek?'" Amber looked blank — she had no idea. She struggled for words. He told her to go do some research on the lyricist, Lorenz Hart, a physically diminutive, closeted homosexual who died of alcoholism at age 48. Before singing the song, Connick sternly told Amber, you need to understand what Hart was writing about."

More here.

I Never Stop Learning New Things


Just found out the beat poet's full name.
(Moment of silence while the miasma of poetic punnery passes)

May 4, 1970/2013

Can't-or

Eric Cantor, The Sequester, and the Death of the Grand Bargain

"The Obama-Boehner Grand Bargain proposal was not necessarily an ideal compromise (plenty of people on both the right and the left disliked it), but at least it would have given us a single, comprehensive solution to our fiscal issues rather than the serial brinksmanship and dysfunction that we have now. And according to Cantor, he was the main force in Washington that prevented that 2011 deal from happening."

The rest of the New Yorker comment here.

What Say Ye, Intelligent-Design Advocates?


Deadly sibling rivalry: Cannibal shark embryos.

"Is Knowing Obsolete?"

Sugata Mitra takes the long look at education in his TED talk.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

April 30, 1803

And It's Not The Contrails?


"New research helps explain why some see elaborate government plots behind events like 9/11 or the Boston bombings" here.

Quote of the Age


"The Internet is a threat to human civilization."

Guess who said it?

The Need For Answers

“The next time we want to run the race toward closure, to be the first to tweet or post or report, to follow the first thing we hear because it seems so believable, we’d do well to consider the lessons of Boston….The need for cognitive closure is a powerful force. But a need is neither a mandate nor an excuse.

Maria Konnikova explains why human beings quickly seek closure in a crisis, and what we can learn from the misinformation that plagued professional news outlets during the Boston bombings


Confrontation of the Year

“You had mentioned that day you voted, owners of gun stores that the expanded background checks would be harmed. I am just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t more important than that.

Erica Lafferty, daughter of Newtown victim Dawn Hochsprung, confronts Senator Kelly Ayotte for voting against expanding background checks

Something Dubbya Did That Actually Worked?

"The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that the number of the chronically homeless declined by 30% between 2005 and 2007. You might have expected the numbers to spike again when the financial crisis hit but no. Since 2007, the number of chronic homeless has dropped another 19%."

More here.

"Legacy Levers"

One of my favorite podcasts explores the design evolution of "one-armed bandits."