Consecutive emails in today's Inbox:
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
We're well into the 21st century. I cannot believe this shit is still happening.
On Friday, a headline on AL.com in Alabama blared: “Poll shows Clinton leading in Georgia: Is Alabama next?” It’s a question worth pondering in a state where 27 percent of the registered voters are black, according to a January Pew Research Center report. But it should be noted that Alabama is doing its very best to disenfranchise as many of those voters as possible.
As John Archibald pointed out on AL.com in the fall: “Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of nonwhite registered voters.” He pointed out that the state “opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them.” As he put it: “Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting.” Furthermore, “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.”
Welcome to the South, folks. And thank you very much, Chief Justice John Roberts, for your opinion in the disastrous Shelby County vs. Holder case. How did you put it: In the South, “Things have changed dramatically.” Yeah, right.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
CONTEXT IS KING
For what seems like forever, the NY Times has had the annoying habit of hyperlinking various words in their (online) articles. These hyperlinks point to something like "topics.nytimes.com/[blah blah]." They evidently are added by some sort of automated process, the development of which appears to have been defunded sometime during the previous Clinton Administration. They are useful ... let's be generous and say ... one out of a hundred times.
Sometimes they are worth it for the comedy, though.
Always bee hovering.
Original article here.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Ngram only returns book results, and only through 2008. If the corpus was all published material through 2016, I bet the red line would cross the blue line.
Yes, yes, living language and all that. But enamored with grates almost as much as singular they.
P.S. Enamored by? No. Not budging on this. That's just wrong.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Removing Quicktime is straightforward.
This does not apply to Quicktime on the Mac.
If you still have .MOV files on your system, you can view them using other programs. I've been using Irfanview for years, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Apparently, Windows Media Player will play .MOV files, too.
[Added] Unknown points out, in Comments, that VLC is also quite capable.
Saturday, April 02, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
This country does not believe in rule by strongmen or cult personality figures.
Which sounds good, until you learn that this was said by Randy Kendrick, "a leading Koch donor," who is "'extremely disappointed about the Koch network being off the playing field'," concerning the looming nomination of Donald Trump.
And it still almost sounds good, until we remember that what the Kochs and cronies do in fact prefer rule by strongmen -- themselves. Sure, they don't like "cult personality figures." When they're buying, they prefer toadies.
On a related note, a recent piece by the great Jane Mayer bears a read. It's about the Koch brothers' attempts at rebranding themselves. (My runner-up choice for the title was Compassionate Conservatism II.) It would be comical if it weren't so horrifying.
Saturday, February 06, 2016
I've been asked to give some suggestions for an academic project, and I thought I'd ask you to help brainstorm, especially if you were born in another country, or lived for a while in another country, or are closely connected to people meeting either of those two criteria. The question is this: what are some of the characteristics that people outside of the United States believe the stereotypical American possesses? (Apart from thinking only people who live in the US are called Americans, I mean.)
You can respond in the comments below, or via email, Facebook, Twitter, text message, etc. Your name will not be passed along, nor will any offense be taken. (Since I already know I live in the greatest country in the world! ;))
Thanks in advance.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
So, one of the two least classiest people in the country is endorsing the other. #shockedshocked
I did enjoy this bit of damning with faint praise, though:
“Over the years Palin has actually cultivated a number of relationships in Iowa,” said Craig Robinson, the former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa and publisher of the website The Iowa Republican. “There are the Tea Party activists who still think she’s great and a breath of fresh air, but she also did a good job of courting Republican donors in the state,” he added.
And when it comes to slimeweasels wielding shivs?
“Palin’s brand among evangelicals is as gold as the faucets in Trump Tower,” said Ralph Reed ...
Eh, who knows. Maybe that was meant as a sincere compliment.
To the extent that we can say "sincere" with a straight face when discussing this bunch, I mean.
So glad I'm not paying attention to politics anymore.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Am I old because I learned a rock music fact only by reading the New York Times, or young because all of my life, until yesterday, I thought Nirvana wrote this?
Which reminds me. I read somewhere -- sorry, I forget where -- a new version of an old favorite: You know you're old when your kid says to you, "Dad, did you know Dave Grohl was in a band before Foo Fighters?"
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The Goodreads Quote of the Day ...
The nicest thing about feeling happy is that you think you'll never be unhappy again.
-- Manuel Puig
Well, let's just note that he's Argentinian. My people? When we're happy, it's always tinged with the thought that (a) we don't deserve it, and (b) (and
maybe probably therefore) something bad 'bout to happen.
Friday, December 11, 2015
A recent upgrade to Avast's antivirus software (to version 11.1.2245) evidently included a highly undesirable feature: automatic injection of an advertisement for Avast as my email signature. The ad became visible to me only after I clicked the Send button. Below is a screenshot (with some personal details obscured) and the steps I took to shut this off.
The problem for the G.O.P. is that it’s centered where national security and immigration intersect ...
Actually, Ross, the problem is that you still think the Republican Party is "centered." On anything.
[Added] Also, that picture makes me think of one thing: "preznit give me turkee."
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
We've come up with
mailman letter carrier, waitress server, fireman firefighter, policeman police officer, stewardess flight attendant, manned crewed missions, and many other perfectly tolerable gender-neutral terms, but I still haven't heard a good replacement for manhole.
Nor has Google, either, apparently. See page 11 of a checklist that may appeal to your inner civil engineer.
A message from haplogroup Administrator, Mike Walsh:
People in any R1b subclade from R-M269 on down should consider going to 111 Y STRs or 67 at a minimum.
And oh yeah, there's a "Buy Now" button.
Friday, December 04, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Without a trace of embarrassment, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Nationalist Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, admitted that the first minister’s science adviser had not been consulted because the decision “wasn’t based on scientific evidence.”
The scientific community is facing a new European reality. Last November, the European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, chose not to reappoint Prof. Anne Glover as his science adviser after lobbying by Greenpeace and other environmental groups.
“We hope that you as the incoming Commission president will decide not to nominate a chief scientific adviser,” they wrote.
Never mind that Professor Glover’s advice on G.M.O. safety reflected the scientific consensus. Mr. Juncker, hoping to make his political life easier, complied with their demand. Europe now has no chief scientific adviser.
Yep, GMO foods. And again, I find myself in the awkward position. I'm not a fierce advocate, and I have my own occasional worries about possible unforeseen environmental consequences, but I hate when My Side is acting like wingnuts.
Friday, October 16, 2015
And you thought eBay was no fun anymore.
Sports Business Daily found that over the first half of this year’s Major League Baseball season, 91 percent of player profits in daily fantasy sports were won by just 1.3 percent of the players. In fact, the top 11 players on average paid $2 million in entry fees and made $135,000 in profit while accounting for 17 percent of all entry fees.
Many of the professionals use automated processes that let them change hundreds, if not thousands, of lineups in seconds, a decided advantage when last-minute changes are made in the lineups of real football, basketball or baseball teams.
I never have understood why American English has not embraced the term punters. Denial, I suspect.
Anyway, the FBI has expressed interest, and I gotta say, I'm snickering, just a bit.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), speaking about the soon to be ex-Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio):
... John’s decades of service have helped move our country forward ...
And here I thought gridlock meant being stuck, motionless.
Well, I suppose he did advance some interests, from time to time ...
When you chew on a Camembert rind, you’re eating a solid mat of mold.
-- Carl Zimmer
Friday, September 18, 2015
Monday, August 31, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Altruism and compassion toward the feelings of others represent the best of human impulses. And it is good to continually challenge rigid categories and entrenched beliefs. But that comes at a sacrifice when the subjective is elevated over the assumption that lurking out there is some kind of real world.
-- George Johnson
Sunday, August 23, 2015
During a discussion about a recent hubbub:
Maybe the work-all-the-time — and work-at-all-costs — culture that the article explored at Amazon wasn’t a tech-specific issue.
The world’s most successful consulting firms, law firms, banks and hedge funds accept that this is the cost of excellence. Rather than deny that the grind exists, employees and managers at elite companies in these fields see it as part of what makes them better. It took a Bank of America intern dying for other leading banks like Goldman Sachs to cap the number of hours that an intern can work at 17 hours a day.
Emphs added, internal links not copied. See the original article.