Photo of the day

From part 2 of In Focus‘ year in photos:

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth looks at the Iron Throne as she meets members of the cast on the set of the television series “Game of Thrones” in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, on June 24, 2014. (Reuters/Phil Noble)

Mega quick hits (part II)

1) The cluelessness of an NYPD police precinct tweeting out Jack Nicholson’s “you can’t handle the truth” speech is sadly telling about mindset of too many police.

2) Matt Yglesias wrote a nice piece about all that Obama has accomplished despite the fact that he is unpopular.  Seth Masket hypothesizes that Obama is unpopular because of all he has accomplished:

3a) So, this Bill Nye thing explaining evolution with emojis is mildly entertaining, but this headline claiming he “annihilates” creationists with the video is preposterous.  Ummm, no.  This didn’t even strike me as a particularly good summary of how evolution works.

3b) Speaking of evolution, Darwin was awesome, but his speculation on the mechanism was spectacularly wrong.

4) Love this collection of posters about the dangers of giving women the right to vote.

5) Apparently not knowing the difference between screening tests and diagnostic tests is leading some people to abort healthy fetuses.  Pretty disturbing.

6) My  first ever post from Modern Farmer!  Interesting story about the problem of invasive Asian Carp and the various efforts to try and address the problem.

7) PPP on football fandom in NC.  This result on college football particularly struck me– Duke is now more popular than NC State!  Wow, nothing like winning:

When it comes to college football loyalties in the state, little has changed from a year ago. 26% of North Carolinians say they’re UNC fans to 15% for Duke, 14% for NC State, 9% each for Appalachian State and East Carolina, and 4% f0r Wake Forest.

8) I had never thought about the issue of the lack of body hair on women in post-apocalyptic movies and TV, but it really does say something interesting about our society and gender.

9) I’m strongly considering switching over to T-Mobile at some point for my Iphone.  More than anything, I love how they are trying to disrupt the very consumer-unfriendly practices of the cell phone industry.  And so does David Pogue.

10) Really, really good piece by Tom Edsall on “welfare chauvinism.”  Like most all Edsall, long, but very educational:

The current failings of the American system are less the fault of politics per se than of the irreconcilability of the conflicts that politicians are forced to reckon with. Globalization and technological advance are driving punitive employment practices that no one has figured out how to address. Illegal immigration by men and women determined to raise their living standards is difficult if not impossible to restrain. Social-cultural issues like abortion and same-sex marriage involve competing moral absolutes that do not lend themselves to compromise. Perhaps even more significant, the causes of poverty and inequality remain bitterly disputed.

11) Looking back at former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney’s decision 20 years ago to leave coaching at the height of professional success to devote all his energy to Promisekeepers.

12) A nice piece on the Sony hack and why we should all be very afraid.  I also liked Chait’s take that defending American culture from North Korean attack is a job for the US Government– not a private corporation.

13) Took me a week to finally getting around to watching the brilliant Office: Middle Earth skit from SNL starring Martin Freeman.  As a fan of the British Office and an enjoyer (not really a fan) of Jackson’s Hobbit movies, this was oh, so good.

14) Speaking of which, really enjoyed this take– Peter Jackson must be stopped.  I’ll see the final Hobbit movie because I’ve seen the first two, but I’m not particularly looking forward to it.

15) No, you don’t really want to boost your immune system.

16) Watched Edge of Tomorrow yesterday.  Loved it.  Very much agree with these two reviews.  Also, David really loved it– I’ve got to watch Groundhog Day with him.

17) Jamelle Bouie on how America’s prison system makes it quite clear that, as a country, we are okay with torture.

18) Yet another fine NYT piece on the absolute insanity of medical prices (echocardiogram edition).

19) Wisconsin has put a pregnant woman in jail for using drugs before she knew she was pregnant.  Sometimes like is far too like The Handmaid’s Tale.

20) Really meant to give this it’s own post, but since it’s just sat there in an open tab for a month… Anyway, really nice article on the science of willpower and self control.


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