Quick hits (part I)

1) It’s nearly impossible for prisoners to sue prisons.  Given that lawsuits are how we actually ensure accountability in so many institutions, it shouldn’t be.

2) An appeal for the left to come together to defeat Trump.

3) Awesome animated gif of the Milky Way.

4) Sure, Trump has dangerous ideas on lots of stuff.  But dangerous ideas about nuclear weapons are especially dangerous.

5) Liberals think Trump is really conservative and conservatives think Clinton is really liberal.

6) Todd VanDerWerff argues that TV shows are killing off too many characters simply for shock value:

The problem with most TV deaths is pretty simple: They’re frequently devoid of meaning, inserted into the plot only to create shock and boost a show’s profile on Twitter.

Yet because of that all-but-guaranteed burst of buzz — and the continued success of death-heavy shows Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead — networks and showrunners keep pushing character death as a one-size-fits-all problem for dramas in trouble.

7) Why it took so long to get all the photos from Pluto.  And, damn, are Fox news personalities so stupid.

8) Some nice background on the federal judge Trump has been slandering.  Among other things, he successfully prosecuted many Mexican drug traffickers and earned credible death threats for his efforts.

9) Liked Fred Kaplan’s take on Hillary’s anti-Trump, foreign policy speech:

10) Wake County public schools (where I live) will be replacing “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” with Latin honors, as is used in colleges.  Conservatives are freaking out.

11) A conservative Republican congressman admits to using medical marijuana, with great success, while in office.  Of course, he know supports reasonable marijuana laws.  If only some Republicans could have the modicum of imagination to support policies before they or their families are directly affected.

12) Ever spent the night in the hospital?  It’s horrible.  It’s also horrible for pediatric patients.  Finally, hospitals are figuring out that constantly waking patients up during the night is not exactly conducive to recovery.

13) Drum on the government’s overzealous new salt guidelines:

The lesson here is simple: As with everything else, you shouldn’t overdo the salt. And if you have a specific medical condition that requires low sodium, then listen to your doctor. Beyond that, though, the chances are that your sodium intake is fine. As near as I can tell, our nutritional establishment remains hellbent on hectoring us about our diets based on a combination of weak evidence and folk wisdom from Satchel Paige. Then they wonder why no one pays attention to them.

14) This newly opened tunnel through the Alps is pretty amazing.

15) It really is pretty crazy and wrong that we still have elephants in circuses.

16) Speaking of crazy and wrong, it really is something just how incredibly stupid Rush Limbaugh is when it comes to evolution.

17) I’m not much of an NBA guy, but Lebron James really is an amazing passer.  My jaw literally dropped watching some of his finest embedded in this appreciation.

18) Love this idea on how to fix the soccer shootout:

Here’s my simple idea: Play the penalties before extra time. If one team outscores the other in the subsequent 30 minutes of open play, then that result will trump the outcome of the penalty kicks. If extra time ends in a draw, then the game goes to the penalty winner.

Why is this an improvement over the current system? The most important benefit is that one team—the penalty loser—would be desperate to score. This would be far superior to what we see now, a slowed-down stalemate in which, more often than not, a pair of worn-down teams seem to have resigned themselves to penalties before the first ball is kicked in extra time. While the penalty winner would no doubt play cynically, wasting time to prevent the penalty loser from scoring a decisive goal, that would still be more enjoyable than watching teams collude to run 30 minutes off the clock.

19) Missing white voters are not going to save Trump.  Even if they could, they are not efficiently distributed.

20) Love this approach from CNN on Trump’s constant lies. More of this from the media, please!

Looks like HuffPo has been similarly inspired. I’ve now seen this appended to multiple articles:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

21) I shared this really cool optical illusion years ago, I think, but it just popped up again in my FB “on this day.”  Still very cool.

22) How Neanderthal DNA may have helped humans survive.

23) NC Republicans will seemingly do anything to avoid using scientifically-proven regulatory means for protecting water quality.  Their latest scheme includes introducing an invasive species of mussel to clean the water.  Seriously.  The fact that people this dumb and ideologically-blinded are running my state is so depressing.



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