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Baltimore

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.26.15

Police kill a 19 year old who was apparently strung out as hell and threatening violence...with finger guns.

Baltimore County police published surveillance footage of Keith McLeod, an unarmed 19-year-old, being shot dead on Wednesday by a white police officer after he was chased for allegedly trying to buy cough syrup with a fake prescription.
The recording showed officer David Earomirski shooting McLeod three times at close range in a parking lot in Reisterstown after McLeod whipped his pointed right hand round from behind his back towards the officer at the end of the pursuit.

Pew pew. Except that another person is actually dead.

Via E. Messily


 

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Fakebook

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.15

Skip Dooce, this is way more interesting:

I spent years simply blocking my mother and relatives on Facebook to avoid the family gossip, bickering, and rumor-mongering. In the middle of a tough couple of weeks in my second-to-last semester at college, my sister called to let me know that my mother was demanding I take down my Facebook profile picture, a picture of me looking at the camera with a cigarette in my hand. I told my sister no; my Facebook page was mine. A few hours later, my sister called again to let me know that my mom had bribed her into creating a fake Facebook account for me. Mom didn't want to risk people seeing pictures of me smoking, shaving my head, or hanging out with people who were obviously not Muslim.
I checked the fake Facebook page, amazed at the person my mother had concocted -- a person who described herself with a mix of poor grammar and unlikely goals: "I'm 21 and the only thing I need in my life is Islam and Allah. I hope everyone can find peace and happiness like me by being the best religious version of themselves. I hope one day to be a good wife to my husband and to be a good mother to my many children :) InshAllah i succeed in life!"

The mom is impersonating her in conversations and everything. Also, somehow this resonates:

It was clear that it gave her some sort of satisfaction I was unable to provide, but it also seemed to be a signal that she had given up on trying to mold me into the daughter she wanted me to be. Despite my frustration, I was also upset that she had stopped trying.

Not necessarily with my mom, but I get that split feeling.

Via E. Messily, who says "I'm glad my mom likes me just the way I am."


 

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Dooce

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.15

Dooce is quitting. I think this has been coming for some time. Basically, the sponsored posts became too intrusive for too little money.

Sponsored posts have hijacked a bunch of blogs that I used to enjoy, and it's super annoying. I have some sympathy for the bloggers - everyone's broke, why not monetize your time - but it is still depressing when a good thing must be monetized and killed.


 

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Very Satisfying

Posted by Ogged
on 09.25.15

There are many videos like this, but this one is recent, and it would have been perfect on Veronica Mars as an example of Logan being both violent and noble. And I love "Fuck you, bro" in this context. Respect the bro code.


 

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Friday

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.25.15

1. DQ sends along: Please post to get the word out for all parents, aunts, uncles and other caring adults of girls!

Heebie's take: I hadn't realized that girls under 16 are particularly at risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome because their immune systems aren't fully developed. Also, I'd heard woo about synthetic materials in tampons, but I hadn't realized that cotton tampons will entirely prevent TSS.

2. I really see the appeal of doing one of these crazy hiking trails like the PCT or the Appalachian Trail. I don't like carrying heavy stuff, but I like the idea that I'd be so strong that I'd find it tolerable. Most heretically, I don't like being without the internet, but probably within fifteen years, phones and battery packs would make it so that you can get in your tent and hop online every night.

(I don't like having any electronics when I go camping, but that's just a few days at a time. If I were actually hiking all day every day for weeks on end, I'd want to have it incorporated into my life.)

(This is all hypothetical to the point of make-believe. Or! Maybe I just like narratives by people that hike these trails. A Walk in the Woods was a lot of fun, although sometimes his miso-murrica gets annoying. Cheryl Strayed was super annoying but I still like the topic.)


 

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Why I Am So Mildly Amused

Posted by Ogged
on 09.24.15

I came across this quote recently and thought, "So if Nietzsche were alive today, he'd write for Upworthy?"

In a perhaps similar vein, imagine you're a godlike creator hanging with some other godlike creator friends, and you say, I'm going to make this being who will love what he is bound to lose, and I'll make him want to create more beings like himself, and he'll know all along that everything he loves will perish. Don't you think that would be the godlike creator equivalent of saying, "Hey guys, lets put this cat in a microwave!"


 

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Free the nip

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.24.15

I am totally fine with women going topless in public and moving towards a society where that is no big deal. Demystifying bodies generally seems to benefit everyone, and the idea of that someone else is going to go bonkers with lust is nonsensical, given how contextual lust is. In other words, people go bonkers with lust for specific reasons, and it's not prevented or reduced by anti-nudity laws.

That said, I don't understand this argument:

The problem, as Reena Glazer wrote in the Duke Law Journal in 1993, is that laws like that in the 1986 case are "written solely to take into account potential viewers. The focus is on the male response to viewing topless women; there is no focus on the female actor herself." The implication, she argued, particularly when laid next to the statute's "exemption for topless entertainment" is that "what might arouse men can only be displayed when men want to be aroused." By contrast, "men are free to expose their chests ... with no consideration of the impact on possible viewers."
That's where the real damage of these laws comes in: Though it's unlikely that many men, if suddenly forced to don a shirt while, say, out for a jog, would find their worlds or senses of self greatly affected, the disparity in treatment of the genders appears to offer legal validation that a man's view of a woman's body is the only one that matters. The underlying message to the public is that women's bodies are inherently sexual, and thus inappropriate to be seen in public.

But we do say that about men's penises - that they shouldn't be exposed, because of other people's sensibilities - and men really don't have breasts. If this is an argument for letting people be fully nude, then I get it. But if it's trying to argue that you can make a consistent argument where everyone must cover themselves from the waist-down and everyone must be allowed to be uncovered from the waist up, then I don't get the logic, because men and women are biologically different on top.


 

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Mischief

Posted by Ogged
on 09.23.15

Suppose you want to Googlebomb someone, or plant a scurrilous rumor, or out someone (as whatever) etc., and don't want the bombing/planting/outing traced back to you: wouldn't one very effective way to do it be to mask your IP address and keep running a search incorporating the information you wanted to spread? (Fontana Labs sexual harassment; Sifu Tweety fake data) Then people wouldn't even have to click a particular link or click through at all in order to see what you planted, and because the information might not exist at all on the web, they couldn't disconfirm it either.

This is probably much harder to do to well-known people, who will have lots of queries feeding the suggestions algorithm, but for someone less well-known, it probably doesn't take very many searches to have something pop up as soon as people type the name into the search bar.


 

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Guest Post: History Geeks

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.23.15

Nick S. writes: A conversation between Arthur Chu and David Perry about diversity in video games, "historical accuracy" and the ways in which the past was more integrated than you might think.

I imagine that the things they are talking about are things that academic historians have been saying for generations, but it's neat to read a quick summary for a general audience in the context of talking about genre literature and games.

(via Brad DeLong)

DP: First of all, in terms of history I'd like to say the vast majority of the medieval world as we think of it was all kinds of people with various shades of brown skin moving back and forth across borders. Yes, there were people in remote little areas who might have never encountered anyone who looked any different than themselves, but overall there was a lot of movement and a lot of contact and a lot of exchange of ideas, crossing transcultural, trans-religious, trans-ethnic zones.
...
Well, let's talk about 14th-century Poland. This is an area which has had incursions with the Mongols, long connections along the Slavic borders, connections up into the northern Scandinavian regions, which we know had deep connections to the Islamic world through trade. One of my mentors studied Islamic silver coins buried in Scandinavia. Poland, often to its detriment, is at a crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe. Would there have been a black-skinned person in 14th century Poland? I can't answer that question. But would a 14th-century person in Poland be able to conceive of a person radically different than themselves? Absolutely.

...

DP: I think the only way we're going to get past it is to point out that when people display a homogeneous world they are doing this by choice, not because it is the only historical option, and to empower more creators from different backgrounds: to empower more women; more people of color; more people who are non-American; more people for whom English is not their first language to create and then share those creations so that we are breaking those norms.
... It's gonna be interesting to see if The Three-Body Problem, the Chinese novel, wins the Hugo for Best Novel of the year. (Ed: It did!) Especially in this very politicized Hugo context, to give the award to this translated Chinese novel, which is interesting, very much not written according to the narrative norms of contemporary Western science-fiction novels.

 

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That's Bad

Posted by Ogged
on 09.22.15

Someone did the math on the extra pollution from cheating Volkswagens.

Volkswagen's rigging of emissions tests for 11m cars means they may be responsible for nearly a million tonnes of air pollution every year, roughly the same as the UK's combined emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture.


 

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Guest Post - Networks

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.22.15

Chris Y. writes: Relationships between everybody who was anybody in England, 1500-1700. Serious nerd fun.

Via PNH at Making Light.

Heebie's take: probably elementary to you smartypantses but I find this network of the Middle East helpful.


 

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#housingsegregationiseverything*

Posted by Ogged
on 09.22.15

Because it was all over my twitter, I assumed everyone knew about it, but maybe not. Nikole Hannah-Jones' TAL episode on school integration is a powerhouse, and you can read the transcript at the link, if you prefer reading to listening. Very short version: school integration is the one thing that has worked in improving school outcomes for minority kids, but the country basically gave up on it in the late 80s. As it happens, Michael Brown's Ferguson district recently willy-nilly became integrated, but not for long, and Jones follows some families as they experience that.

Side note: there's an integration battle happening right now in Brooklyn, and it sure sounds like NHJ is one of the parents quoted in the article.

*Hash tag often used by Gene Demby to discuss issues like this.


 

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I Have Something For You

Posted by Ogged
on 09.22.15

You know you're old when an article about where semen should end up spurs more nostalgia than titillation. Plus, you guys will spend the whole thread re-litigating the come/cum spelling wars.


 

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Attitude. or maybe Leadership.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.21.15

One of the xfit kids was wearing a shirt today that says "Leadership is Attitude" or some nonsense. We currently have a highly competent provost at Heebie U and it has really driven home for me what competent leadership actually means, and that leadership is actually a thing. If I had to work it out, it seems to be: she researches the hell out of all possibilities, summarizes her findings in a clear, concise way, listens to all parties involved, makes a decision in a timely manner with reasonable justification, implements her decisions thoroughly - forming committees, having people develop timelines and following through on them, lets us know what her goals on the horizon are and how each new thing supports her larger goals, and her priorities seem wise to me. It's actually a lot of work and a ton of organization, and not a lot of attitude.


 

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Monday

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.21.15

I can't decide between posting this very sweet write-up of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or this story of Russian kindergartners who dug their way out of kindergarten in order to try and buy a Jaguar.

via


 

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Stress-response fasting

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.21.15

I think this is the fasting study that my uncle participated in.

Preliminary reports indicate that fasting for up to 5 days followed by a normal diet, may also protect patients against chemotherapy without causing chronic weight loss.

My aunt and uncle sent me the specific guidelines - this many grams of carbs, this many nuts, a can of Progresso soup will meet these conditions, etc. They are encouraging me to do it before surgery, because there are also preliminary studies (apparently) showing that the same mechanism kicks in under different kinds of physical stress (like surgery).

Basically it's 200 cal/day for four or five days. It sounds absolutely awful. The major problem they had with the study - or so I'm told, I haven't read the article - was compliance. People don't like to fast.


 

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The Clock

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.20.15

The real villain is Ahmed himself. "It all seems really fishy to me." Lazy kid faking genius-hood in order to get a shout-out from Obama.


 

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