Photo of the day

Hiked down Linville Gorge yesterday to the base of Linville Falls.  Quite a fun hike and challenging at times with a four-year old on your back.  I don’t usually do much with the in-camera effects on my Canon S100, but I really liked how the “super-vivid” setting turned out on this scene of icicles near the base of the falls.  More here.


Steven Greene

Quick hits (part II)

0 1) So, there’s some “scam” where you get any piece of crap published as a so-called academic paper if you pay for it.   Supposedly, these are “predatory” journals that prey on clueless academics, but seriously, anybody dumb enough to fall for this is not smart enough to be a successful academic anywhere.

2) In some places, solar and wind are starting to compete successfully on price.

3) Paul Waldman argues that the Supreme Court should be the biggest issue of the 2016 campaign.  I don’t think it will be, but he’s right– it should.

4) Rolling Stone offers the 30 best Star Wars moments (complete with clips).  I haven’t paid any attention to Star Wars VII, but this teaser trailer totally sucked me in.

5) A NYT forum on whether Catholic priests should be able to get married.  I’ll make it simple– yes.

6) Riding a bike to work as a metaphor for white privilege.  Not bad.

7) Ezra Klein’s take on Darren Wilson’s story.  In truth, either Wilson or Brown must have acted incredibly stupidly.  My guess is that both did. But there’s so much conflicting testimony we’ll truly never know.

8) That said, there really can be little doubt that poor public policy choices have very much to do with how Ferguson got to be Ferguson.

9) The mind is so powerful when it comes to disease.  For example, whether you experience asthma symptoms from a theoretical trigger could depend entirely on whether or not you expect to.

10) Johnston County NC police and prosecutors basically ruined a man’s life by falsely charging him with being part of a child pornography ring despite the complete obviousness that he was not involved (at least he’s free now).  When I make a mistake, somebody gets a B instead of an A.  When police and prosecutors make mistakes, lives are ruined.  They ought be more damn careful.

11) An Atlantic piece suggesting that the rise in tattoos is a feature of a modern identity crisis.  Whatever it is, I still don’t like ’em.

12) A little late for Thanksgiving, but loved this visual guide to understanding all your extended relations (i.e, what exactly is a second cousin once removed).

13) More evidence that the best way to prepare for tests is taking tests.

14) How GE tests their jet engines (with animated gifs).  Very cool.

15) Lessons for education reform from the Slow Food movement:

It’s hyperbolic—and sort of creepy—to say that students are directly analogous to animals packed into crowded feedlots and pumped with hormones before their slaughter. But the analogy works on some levels: Just as factories aim to maximize profit, schools seek to boost test scores. In both cases, shortcuts are irresistible. Animals are injected with growth hormones, and students are taught quick tricks to answer test questions they don’t fully understand.

16) Chuck Schumer is an idiot and represents all that’s wrong with the Democratic Party.  If Democrats should not have used their majority ton enact health care reform, what’s the point of being a Democrat.  To enact vague programs for “the middle class” if you listen to Schumer.

17) Corporations and Republicans always complain that environmental regulations are going to be way more harmful than they ever actually end up being.  Every time.  But for some reason people listen to the chicken little act.  Krugman on the problem.

18) When you read this list of consensus diet tips at Vox, I can’t help but be impressed by how much of this advice is already incorporated into Weight Watchers (which is why I continue to advocate for it).  Also, a lot of this was in The End of Overeating.

19) Not impressed by Mockingjay Part I.  First, I hate the idea of splitting books into two movies, just to make more money.  The book does not deserve two movies.  Second, I blame the source material– the movie did the best it could with taking this mediocre book and breaking it into two parts (I loved The Hunger Games, but damn did the series go downhill).

20) I loved The Yellow Birds— a fantastic little novel about the Iraq War.  I have not enjoyed the language in a novel this much since McCarthy’s The Road.

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