From a piece by Clay Shirky about the decline of printed newspapers:
... and black newsroom humor long ago re-labelled the Obituary column ‘Subscriber Countdown.’
Not really, obvs, but cheese and rice, sometimes a blurb will make your knee jerk.
Salmon, once nearly extinct on part of the Columbia River, are recovering, to the delight of birds. As a result, those charged with protecting the fish have a new plan: shoot the birds.
... I started hanging out at a local pigeon supply store.
Also, is a “pigeon mumbler” like a horse whisperer?
Also, too, would you consider this gentrification? And if so, with all the negativity that that connotes?
John Gotti’s old Mafia headquarters became a pet-grooming center.
Sometimes, throwaway lines make you (me) think. Here's one, from the start (about 4:50) of a Google Talks interview thing with an erstwhile Tibetan monk who seems now to be in the business of ... talking to small crowds of people like the Googlers, which is not a bad thing, something he says one of his teachers told him:
... unless you can improve on silence, it's better not to say anything at all.
I can hear everyone I work with nodding with cocked eyebrows, of course, but that's not the important part.
This isn't for everybody, but I hugely enjoyed it, and I think some of you will, too:
I remember having a discussion with several other bright undergrads, our TA, and one of the physics profs about the sprinkler problem (we were all reading Feynman at the time), and we came to ... no conclusion. (I managed to end the discussion by speculating that the sprinkler would move chaotically, which, while incorrect, at least had the advantage of being a proposal no one else had made.)
I also remember the feeling I had at about the same time -- a few weeks into my Intro to Modern Physics course -- that the message of the course was everything you have previously learned about physics is wrong.
As with most things, it turned out to be not quite that simple.
I thought this fifteen-minute TED talk was great. I especially liked the bit about the earliest of the language scolds.
I agree with McWhorter's general argument, and have since reading Lewis Thomas (e.g.), but he made a number of points I hadn't thought of, and I liked the little tastes of professional linguistic discussion he added.
“I didn’t know there were that many lesbians in San Francisco,” said Tracey Kaplan, 26, a vendor manager for Google Enterprises who was in attendance.
In the same story, how's this for a name for someone representing the progressive side of the issue?
“We’re starting some good conversations,” said Ms. Neaderthal ...
During a bank robbery ...
Once inside, the robbers cracked one of the two vaults and stole the $290k. The other vault, the Post reported, contained more money.
That'd be the Post's "unnamed source," which I'd wager was from the police. Or the bank.
A couple of passages from a great and horrifying book I just finished, Patrick McGuinness's The Last Hundred Days, a novel set in Romania at the end of the Ceaușescu regime.
... I grew to hate, and it energised me. But I couldn’t make a life out of it, or not a life that was my own. So I discovered forgiveness, and the secret malice of it: people forgive not out of grandeur of spirit but as a way of freeing themselves. The forgiver always floats free, the forgiven slides a little further down the soft shute to hell. Maybe that’s why so many religions use forgiveness as a secret weapon.
‘Ah, Monsieur Midwinter? Gilbert, isn’t it?’ Ozeray loomed up between us and closed his fingers around Wintersmith’s hand.
‘Er… Wintersmith, Giles.’ The Belgian had him in a diplomatic half-nelson.
‘Ah yes, quite so. I could not help overhearing your wise analysis. I remember when I was just beginning my diplomatic career.’ Ozeray paused and closed his eyes, inviting us to join him in a prehistory where diplomats and dinosaurs roamed the same mirrored banqueting halls, ‘my mentor, Baron Henri Nivarlais, – a great diplomat – oversaw fifty years of the most radical change the world has known without batting an eyelid – the Baron, he said to me: “Young man, in diplomacy there are two kinds of problem: small ones and large ones. The small ones will go away by themselves, and the large ones you will not be able to do anything about. The biggest challenges in your career will come from the temptation to act. The test of your mettle will be how nobly you surmount it.” Very fine advice, Mr Midwinter, do you agree?’
... spend a few moments reflecting on Doghouse Riley.
I've never come close to being able to write a proper send-off (see Roy (and pretty much all of his commenters) for something I endorse), so I can only offer a quick search around this place for a few of the things that struck me, over the years.
Mr. Riley had some words about Memorial Day, from time to time, if you'd rather start there.
But he talks, a lot. It is a wind concerto played entirely on dog whistles ...
-- Adam Weinstein, describing Michael Hill, in "Inside the
American Id: Chilling With the South’s New Secessionists"
Got a fairly gushing compliment from a customer today.
On the ... uniformity, I think she meant ... of my "salt and pepper hair."
Might have hurt a little less had she been, say, fifteen years younger than me.
Ah, no. Probably not that, either.
Bill Donohue, the president and probably sole member of the Catholic League, ...
That was from Dok Zoom's Weekly Derp Roundup. Item seven. Although how anyone will make it that far after first finding our how outraged we need to be at Honey Maid graham crackers, I have no idea.
[Added] Follow-up on the horror, the horror, that the PaPSM narrowly avoided.
Still, I guess this ["hunger=dignity speech"] is a further nail in the coffin of [Paul] Ryan’s reputation as Serious, Honest Conservative. But I am of course a shrill bad guy, because I was guilty of premature anti-Ryanism — you weren’t supposed to figure out that he was a con man until 2011 or 2012.
-- Paul Krugman
If we are going to decide big issues, like eating genetically modified food, fracking for natural gas, responding to the prospect of drastic climate change, exploring space or engaging in ambitious science research, we are going to have to start from some common experience.
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the longtime senator from New York, once said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. So where are we going to get them?
In science, as in other areas of our culture, there is no dearth of voices, but are we paying attention? In the new New Age, it’s all about which cable channels you watch or whom you follow on Twitter.
We could use a national conversation that is not about scandal or sports. If everybody watches the new “Cosmos,” we can talk about it the way we once argued about “The Sopranos” every Monday morning.
And perhaps that will happen. The early reviews of the series are glowing, and an adoring profile of Dr. Tyson recently appeared in The New Yorker. And we are not talking about tweedy PBS here; the show will be on Fox, home of “24” and “American Idol.”
It’s hard to imagine a better man to reboot the cosmos than Neil deGrasse Tyson.
-- Dennis Overbye