Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s Animal Photos of the week:

Close call for a bird as it narrowly escapes being eaten by a jackal ) РThese hilarious photos show a pair of jackals trying – and failing – hard at catching their prey. The two tenacious hunters stalk a herd of sand grouse as they drink from a watering hole in the African desert. As the prey take flight, so does one of the jackals, leaping into the air to try and catch a stray grouse. Hilariously, the jump was made a second too late and the crafty critter completely face plants the desert floor.Picture: CORLETTE WESSELS/ CATERS NEWS

How money polarizes politics in chart form

I was about to put this in a quick hit, but wanted to make sure everybody sees it.  Via Ezra at Vox:


You’re a lot likelier to contribute to a political campaign if you think the fate of the nation rests of your guys defeating the other guys. You’re a lot less likely to contribute to political campaigns if you don’t much care which party wins.

But what happens next makes sense, too: politicians have to appeal to the people who fund their campaigns. The people who fund their campaigns really believe the other party is terrible. And so spending a lot of time working across the aisle or questioning your party’s political strategy is not going to make your donors very happy.

(Early) Quick hits (part I)

I’m on vacation in the NC mountains for the latter part of the week, so lots of quick hits.  Here’s part I a day early:

1) Wired presents the most ridiculous laws in America, in photos.   Good stuff here.

2) 10 things to do in college (besides going to class).

3) Some potentially nasty effects of climate change.

4) What that happiest cities in America have in common

5) How Dr. Strangelove debunks the ridiculous arguments of the DC Circuit decision.

6) So, about how MOOCs were going to spell the end for traditional universities.

7) FIFA’s complete backwardness on head injuries is truly appalling (though, so is most everything about FIFA).

8) Did you hear about the 12-year old whose science project on Lionfish was a scientific breakthrough?  Well… not exactly.  It’s an interesting and complicated story.

9) If conservatives really wanted to fight poverty, they should send everybody a check.  Seriously.

10) 20 words that once meant something totally different.  On a related note, I recently learned that the origins of “lousy” was to refer to a person infested with lice.

11) The overblown stigma of genital herpes.

12) Drum explains how Republicans latest tax bill in the House actually increases taxes on the poor while lowering them on the rich.  Not that anybody should find this remotely surprising.

13) The latest research suggests that close to 10% of kids with autism actually end up leaving the diagnosis behind.  And, it’s real, not just a mis-diagnosis in the first place.  There’s some correlates with these outcomes, but, sadly, no easy answers.   If you only read one quick hit, this should be it.

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