Posts Categorized: tidbits

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

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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.

Sunday Tidbits, A Bit Early

A Woman's Place is in the Resistance

It is already Sunday in other parts of the world, so have the Sunday Tidbits early:

1) It may be Saturday, but Sunday is a comin’… Today’s Women’s Marches worldwide gave me so much hope and courage. Friday’s inauguration of the Combover-in-Chief seemed dark, but with today’s marches the light is seeping back in. I also like that the aerial photos from Washington DC’s Mall are quite the contrast between yesterday and today. Also, The Guardian’s live coverage of the Women’s Marches around the world. The NY Times’ coverage of photos from around the world – inspiring!

2. The lovely Mr. Peter Schrock posted Only When It Is Dark Enough Can You See The Stars: A Meditation for MLK Day. Peter weaves in meditations on the walls we build personally with his father’s death and the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Peter is from a Mennonite community in Oregon, I met him in college, and now he is a part of a community in San Diego serving the poor. I greatly respect his life’s work and his photography.

3. While I have not seen the movie Arrival, I am currently reading Ted Chiang’s short story collection Stories of Your Life and Others. The NYRB has a review of both worth reading: When They Came from Another World.

4. One of my favorite photos from today:

Sunday Tidbits : The First 2017 Edition

:: A few Sunday Tidbits for you ::

A lovely flash fiction story on what Cassandra also saw that she did not tell the Trojans about

2017 in (potential) Bright Comets :: If you don’t already have Astro Bob on your RSS Feed / Subscription, you should.

Stephen Hawking on This is the most dangerous time for our planet :: Ok folks, how are we all working to pull out of this tail spin of our own making?

And in other notes, my two gently used hardback books by Roberto Calasso have arrived.

Sometimes a Miracle

“Sometimes it seems to me a miracle that so many worlds exist on the same planet and don’t fall inside one another and collapse. How do we do it? Even more so in the age of social media, where everything exists all of the time.” – Deepti Kapoor, in the essay – My Indian Passport is a Bitch

Sunday Tidbits: Storytelling has a Shape

“Storytelling has a shape. It dominates the way all stories are told and can be traced back not just to the Renaissance, but to the very beginnings of the recorded word. It’s a structure that we absorb avidly whether in art-house or airport form and it’s a shape that may be—though we must be careful—a universal archetype.” – John Yorke, All Stories are the Same

“That is why I like novels: instead of heroes they have people in them.” – Ursula Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” – Terry Pratchett, The Science of Discworld II

The Absolute Best Disposal of Wickham in All of JAFF-dom

From London Outskirts by Kent:

“But what of Mr. Wickham, who had been the means of uniting the Darcys that day in London’s outskirts? To escape gaming debts, he deserted the militia when they traveled to Brighton in the summer, and eventually made his way to Lyme where he was killed when a young woman jumped atop him from the upper cobb.”

Inquiring minds would like to know if Louisa survived unscathed from her fall in this AU?