Photo of the day

From a Big Picture gallery of public art:

A little girl plays in front of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s latest creation, a 25 metres (82 feets) white rabbit, a part of the Taoyuan Land Art Festival at Taoyuan Naval Base on Sept. 4, in Taipei, Taiwan. Hofman’s big yellow duck drew millions of visitors as it toured the island last year and festival organizers are hoping the rabbit will do the same. (Ashley Pon/Getty Images)

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Quick hits (part I)

Feeling fine and the pox are all scabbed over–hooray!

1) You know, our society really is a little weird about nipples.

2) I totally get why a Black, female professor would insist on always being called by her title.  Since I’m a middle-aged white man, though, I have asked my students to call me Bone Saw.

3) The Economist on the future of the book (I’ll keep reading printed ones as long as they keep making them).

4) Stephen Pinker with 10 grammar rules you should be breaking (already on top of some of these!)

5) The different language liberals and conservatives use when insulting each other.  Short version: conservative extremists vs. liberal hacks.

6) This article says there’s no such thing as a “healthy microbiome.”  I say bullshit.  We may not know exactly what makes for one and there may be all sorts of diversity as to what constitutes a healthy microbiome.  But damn straight there is such a thing.

7) Really cool piece on how we are all confident idiots (some, more than others, I would argue).

8) I have great conversations with reporters all the time when only a single, fairly trivial snippet makes it into print.  I must admit, therefore, it is quite edifying to see a lot of what I have to say make it into print.

9) On the science of physical appearance and electability (it’s disturbingly importnat).

10) A pre-election piece, but a good luck at how Republicans regained their edge on national security.

11) There’s no ideology to being really dumb with numbers.

12) Cool ways to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria without antibiotics (obviously, we need a lot more work here).

13) My colleague Mike Cobb on why the polls were wrong about the NC Senate.  A very nice explanatory piece on how polling works.

14) Jill Lepore’s take on the Democrats’ midterm failure.

15) How we can reduce inequality by being more like Qatar.  Seriously.

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