Posts Categorized: ideas + opinions

Monday Tidbits to Start Your Week Off

Here is a hodge podge of reading links I have been saving in my tidbits folder for you:

Astronomers strike gold – and platinum – as they watch two neutron stars collide

Kodak’s First Digital Moment

In Amish Country, the Future Is Calling

“Lizzie said she was upset by how people had become so attached to their phones.

“People are treating those phones like they are gods,” she said. “They’re bowing down to it at the table, bowing down to it when they’re walking. Here we say we don’t bow down to idols, and that’s getting dangerously close, I think.”

Professor Kraybill said such insights were not unusual among Amish people.

They “are more savvy about the impact of technology on human interactions than most of us are,” he said.”

The Trump Conundrum: Four Factors Sending The Donald Into a Rage/Shame Spiral

The Danger of President Pence

“Trump’s swerve did the unthinkable—uniting Coulter and liberal commentators.”

The Great Nutrient Collapse

“As best scientists can tell, this is what happens: Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads to them pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc.”

10 Phrases that Originated in the Middle Ages

The Secret History of Dune

Trump’s Warning to Mueller Proves, Again, That It’s All About the MoneyIt always has been.

How to Kill a Dinosaur in 10 Minutes

In a Warming World, Keeping the Planes Running

Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain

Landscape Photography focusing and Aperture tips from Spencer Cox at Photography Life:
https://photographylife.com/why-hyperfocal-distance-charts-are-wrong
https://photographylife.com/how-to-choose-the-sharpest-aperture

Dancing On My Own :

“As a young person trying to break into a male-dominated field, I spent my 20s afraid of being perceived as a froofy little girl, and acted accordingly. I was a hardcore feminist who’d nonetheless listened to the boys in my MFA program as they mansplained their Raymond Carver tattoos. I consciously practiced not speaking in uptones. I worried I had vocal fry. I limited ballet talk to visits with my mom. I wanted so badly to be taken seriously that I sought others’ approval at the expense of my own.
Oh, we live in a country that hates the dreams of little girls? I thought. Well, I’m going to become a fucking ballerina.

After the election, I lost my patience for this almost overnight. I was furious. Tamping down the desires of my inner five-year-old girl finally felt like the self-effacing erasure it had always been. How many ways do women edit and adjust themselves every day to exist in a world that hates them? I wondered. For me, it had already been too many, and for too long.

And so I began actively returning to the things I’d always loved but had dismissed as too feminine, too froofy, too much. Ballet was one of them.

Oh, we live in a country that hates the dreams of little girls? I thought.

Well, I’m going to become a fucking ballerina.” – Megan Burbank

Weekday TidBits and Links for You

Sherman Alexie on Not Being “The Kind of Indian That’s Expected” : On what it means for Trump to treat the entire country like a reservation — and writing a memoir about a great woman who was not a great mother.

If Republicans Love Their Country, When Will They Show It?

From the nice folks at Volcanoe Cafe: Rockall: The lost continent of Middle Earth

Books (or Series) to Read if You Like The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

The Archetypes of American Folklore – wherein most of the American archetypes are bigger, faster, bolder, and more of braggarts then those of the old country.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a warning to Conservative Women:
“America is rich in Serena Joys…The world she wanted to build could not coexist with the world that allowed her career.”

The Exquisitely English (and Amazingly Lucrative) World of London Clerks : It’s a Dickensian profession that can still pay upwards of $650,000 per year.

Evidence mounts for Planet Nine

The weird power of the placebo effect, explained. Yes, the placebo effect is all in your mind. And it’s real. “Belief is the oldest medicine known to man. ” – Brian Resnick

How do we know where the carbon is coming from?
I found the part on Carbon-14 cycle most interesting – given that there was spike in C14 in the 1950s-1960s due to above ground nuclear bomb testing. And then the amount of C13 can tell us where the added CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from:

“We can now distinguish between the three possible sources of added CO2. We can immediately excludes the circulating pool, because the added CO2 contains no 14C. Of the remaining two possible sources, carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will be depleted in 13C relative to a mineral standard, while carbon dioxide from mineral sources will not. So the question is, has atmospheric carbon dioxide become more depleted in 13C over time, as its amount has risen?

Unambiguously yes.” – Paul Brateman

Tidbits for a Sunday on the Road

The Tappan Zee Bridge

This:

“I divide every disagreement into two classes,” Bob Taylor was telling me. “Class One is when two people disagree and neither can explain to the other person’s satisfaction that other person’s point of view. A Class Two disagreement is when each can explain to the other’s satisfaction the other’s point of view.”

He paused. “Class One is destructive. Most wars and pain and suffering in the world are based on Class One disagreements. Class Two disagreements enable people to work together even when they disagree.”

The key to his management style, he said, was to avoid Class One disagreements, and when he encountered them, to turn them into Class Two.” – How Bob Taylor assembled the team that invented personal computing: an appreciation, by Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times

******

All the Other Tidbits:

‘Muskrat’, ‘Helpmate’, and 6 More Folk Etymologies: Because language isn’t logical

Next to a great bowl of Finnish Fish Soup, Rhode Island Clam Chowder is now my very favorite soup. Ok, a great miso should be on the list duking it out for number one, too.

Where did your dog come from? New tree of breeds may hold the answer via metafilter and a link to the chart, click to make bigger. Study full-text.

Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets
Starry Success: Protecting the Night Sky Above La Palma

How to Remove Light Pollution from Your Astro Images

“By not having any one idea jump too far from reality, Walkaway demonstrates how close we are, right now, to enormous promise and imminent peril. It can make the book read more like a manifesto than a novel in parts, but good sci-fi is always a bit uncomfortable, and it’s easier to swallow when packaged as this small-idea, understated approach. Utopia and dystopia are not mutually exclusive, as anyone sitting in 2017 watching for signs of nuclear war on their pocket supercomputer can relate to. The good news is that small ideas are easier to implement than big ones, so maybe, with their help, we can turn down the dystopia slider. Perhaps this is how utopia starts: not with a bang, but with a whimper.” – Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway and the Power of Small Ideas, by P.T. Phronk in Tor.com

Tidbits for Your Weekend

Photo of Pear blossom taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

I have been collecting links for about a month now, some of these you may have already seen but enjoy the ones you have not yet read:

From the Stories, Myth, and Fiction Beat:

Tor.com’s short fiction and poetry series: Nevertheless, She Persisted containing the marvelous The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton, plus many others

A morning coffee break in the woods, with good companions

Four Kinds of Dystopia

The Fairy Tales of Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron

From The Science Beat:

Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles with the Great Bear : Get out your binoculars and look for the comet in the next two weeks.

New Way to Fight Superbugs Found in Noxious Weed : When folk medicine helps fight MRSA

A Medical Marvel : Wherein reviewing old manuscripts yields a 1000 year old eye cure from Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical recipe book.

The Very Drugged Nazis : What is says on the tin

Gotta See It! Four Planets Directly Imaged In Motion Around The Star HR 8799

Researchers create ‘time crystals’ envisioned by Princeton scientists : How about adding a little time to your crystal molecules?

The Education Beat:

And for centuries, segregated by age but never by background, all students congregate in the large meeting room for their 40 minutes of quiet reflection every week. While the meetings always begin in silence, they can eventually be punctuated by the thoughts of anyone in the room who has something to share.

School officials concede that the meeting is sometimes viewed as an imposition by younger students, but say this tends not to be a lasting attitude.

“Invariably, when alums come back here, the thing they say they miss the most is our weekly meeting,” said Travis Larrabee, the high school director. “In what other part of society do you sit in silence with 500 other people?” – Before Matt Ryan’s Ascent, a Quiet Grounding in the Quaker Way

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

In Hillsdale College, a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives

The question remains is it possible to have a liberal great books education that builds on the western canon and adds in a diverse array of women, POC, the 20th Cent, and post-modernism? I know so. I learned it at Scripps College from 1986-1988.

Conuberation : The Neologism that Keeps Giving…

Thurs. 02.23.17 – For years I have used the word ‘conuberation’ to mean a rather exuberant mashup of people or things or emotions as if someone took a conurbation of said things and put it in a trash compactor on speed. For a long time I used it about my mother’s family, who are known to be rather exuberant and opinionated all at once. In 2003, it was pointed out to me by Wanda that it was not an actual word.

Now, I use conuberate or conuberation to mean any crazy pileup of things all at once. I even tried to write it in a comment on a story yesterday that I am beta’ing and then the quiet voice in the back of my head reminded me that it was not a real word but a word I made up. I went back and read my original 2003 blog post about it, wherein I decided at the time that it was a mashup of conniption + conurbation. Last night, I followed the rereading of my blog post up with an extensive search in the Online Etymology Dictionary and decided that the way I use conuberation now is more in the line of exuberant + conurbation as it applies to people, things, and ideas.

I wondered why if the prefix con- means with or together and there are a number of words that have the same base word but different prefixes, then should I not be able to take the base word of ‘uberate’ and add con- to it? According to our friends at OED, uberare means “be fruitful” in Latin.

Con + uberare would be fruitful together or an abundance together – which is basically how I have been using conuberate for the past two decades or more.

This folks is what happens when one takes Latin in high school and then it has years to percolate through a creative brain. How do I suggest it to become a real English word? Do we all have to use it before a dictionary will pick it up? Do I start a Twitter campaign?

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Skewer the Recent Spate of Executive Orders

“The president sets men’s fashions and at the inauguration he wore an extra long tie and a dead animal on his head, thus…” and Jon Stewart waves at his own dead animal and extra long tie.

Best quote: “It has been 11 days, Stephen. Eleven *BLANK* Days! The presidency is supposed to age the President, not the public.”

Isn’t it rather ridiculous how the Republicans were all up in arms about Obama’s executive orders and wanted to limit the ability for future presidents to make said orders, but now that their own guy is ordering away it is silence from the formerly opposed? Funny that.

I would bet everything that I have that if Hilary were now president, the Congressional and Senate Republicans would have already passed through both chambers a law the limiting of executive orders by now.

A few Tweets on the State of America Today…

Current Status: Visiting My Mom and It Is SNOWING!!!

... And it is still snowing!

Sun 01.21.17 – I am currently visiting my Mom in Bishop, a small town in the high desert on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Rain was predicted today and the current storm had other opinions on the matter.

I am wildly excited as I love love love snow. It is so exotic! ;o)

Photo of snow falling in my Mom’s front yard taken by Jen with her Lumia 950.