Photo of the day

So many great shots in this In Focus photos of the week gallery:

Fabien Napias of the French recortadores company Passion Saltador leaps over a charging bull at the end of the Liga de Corte Puro finals at the Plaza de Toros in Valladolid, Spain, on September 6, 2015. The art consists of leaping, diving, and somersaulting over charging bulls.

Quick hits (part I)

1) Of course James Blake would not have been tackled by the NYPD if he wasn’t a Black man.  Its just so frustrating that police unions seem literally incapable of admitting that police officers actually screw up.  Love what my friend wrote about this on FB:

Good on James Blake for trying to turn this into something positive.

And the NYPD union is digging itself a hole — it doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The guy didn’t announce he was a cop; he wasn’t in uniform; and Blake would have been within his rights to have broken the dude’s neck in self-defense. Note well: the criminal the officer *THOUGHT* he was taking down is suspected of credit card fraud — not violent crime. There was no reason to believe the suspect would be armed. So, not only did the officer attack the WRONG person, but he would have been out of line even if he had been attacking the right person. What a colossal balls up. Every time the union stands up for a dumbass like this in the court of public opinion, they lose a little bit more public standing, and make it more difficult for themselves when they need to defend an officer who is actually worth defending. [emphasis mine]

2) We need to do a better job teaching teachers how to be good teachers.

3) Speaking of which, thanks to Sam B. for sharing with me this great video on poverty and test scores.  It’s short.  watch it.

4) If you are going to reboot your campaign (Hilary), just do it.  Don’t talk about how you are going to do it.

5) Found this Yglesias post on the dark corners of the conservative world quite fascinating.

6) Stephen Colbert talks about Pope Francis.  Probably my two favorite Catholics.

7) On the other hand, not a big fan of people who’s religion leads them to believe that talking about cervixes is “pornographic.”

8) Loved this Wonkblog interview on the history of American fashion and why we dress so casually.  Especially this exchange.

So that scene from “The Devil Wears Prada,” when Meryl Streep criticizes Anne Hathaway for believing she isn’t affected by fashion, it must resonate with you.

Well you know, it’s just so true. People say, “Oh well, you know, I don’t care about fashion.” They go to the Gap, they go to Old Navy, and they all dress alike, they wear these uniforms. The thing that I really harp on is that, that in and of itself is a choice, it’s a personal choice, because there are many people who don’t do that. In buying those uniforms, you’re saying something about yourself, and about how you feel about clothing and culture. There is no such thing as an unaffected fashion choice. Anti-fashion is fashion, because it’s a reaction to the current visual culture, a negation of it.

9) A student of mine recently shared this awesome piece with me she wrote about sororities and “slut-shaming” that got picked up by the  Apparently, her sorority is not too happy with her (nor, vice versa).

10) This professor took to Vox to tell why he’s quitting his awesome tenure-track job because academia is a sucky cess-pit.  After looking at his publications, my guess is that the unmentioned subtext is that his colleagues are not interested in granting him tenure on the basis of being a journalist (which, as far as I can tell, is where he’s dedicated his efforts).

11) The key to luring good business to NC is not incentives, but investing in the infrastructure of the state– especially the human infrastructure.  Great comparison with the SC approach.

12) I seriously love how reading Peter Singer always makes me feel like a bad person.  Here is on how you should (not) spend your charitable dollars.

From this basic principle, it follows that we should focus our charitable donations on people in extreme poverty in developing countries. That’s because for any given sum, we can do more good by helping those in greatest need. We can, for instance, save the lives of more infants in developing countries than we can save in the United States or any other developed nation. That’s because infants in the United States rarely die from diseases that we can inexpensively prevent or cure, whereas infants in developing countries still do.

Similarly, if we aim to prevent suffering rather than premature death, helping the homeless in the United States is likely to prove more costly than options for preventing suffering in developing countries, for example by repairing an obstetric fistula in a young woman who, without a surgery that by U.S. standards is extraordinarily cheap, will be a pariah for the rest of her life because she is unable to keep herself clean.

Okay, and I also feel good about myself as I gave the Fistula Foundation a good chunk of change last year.  Singer would approve.

13) It truly is utterly insulting how much Apple charges for Flash memory.  Seriously.  Also Apple-wise, enjoyed this piece about the new Ipad Pro and how the best new technologies develop bottom-up (i.e., phone to pro table) and not top-down (i.e., desktop to pro-tablet).

14) Interesting Slate piece on the migration crisis:

The fumbling of the refugee crisis echoes the Greek debt crisis to a striking degree. In both cases, borders between countries were eliminated—financial borders in the Eurozone, physical borders under the Schengen Agreement—which created great benefits within Europe as capital and people could move around more easily. But in both cases, the necessary regulatory structures were not put in place—a European-wide bank regulator, a European-wide homeland security system—because of residual worries about sacrificing sovereignty to a faceless transnational bureaucracy. With no agency in place when the crisis struck, countries had to agree on ad hoc responses that contended poorly with a similar moral hazard problem: A bailout of Greece could encourage profligacy in other countries; refuge for migrants will just encourage further migration. Unable to solve their problems either by centralizing into a U.S.-style federation or dividing back into independent states, the continent has entered a permanent state of crisis.

15) It’s pretty damn easy to get away with abusing prisoners.  As for those people who say, “but they did bad things” I would ask if they think abuse and torture should be official punishment (of course, I suspect a scary percentage would say yes).

16) Medium-long read: Great Tom Edsall piece on poverty, housing, and segregation.

17) Long read: You probably heard about the new hominid species, but the story of how the scientists discovered it is amazing.  Especially the 10-inch wide (!) cave they had to squeeze through.


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