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Wisdom

Posted by Ogged
on 10.03.15

Way more often than I would have expected, I find a line from an Iranian poker player helps me get past my tendency to overplanning and overcaution: "In order to live, you must be willing to die." Go then, my friends, and die.


 

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Little Free Libraries

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.03.15

Sometimes I feel like Little Free Libraries are the Britta water filters of books: there's already a library system. It wasn't broken. Don't make the library a place where only poor people go to check their email.

The houses are cute and charming and friendly, and to a voracious reader, you can't have too many sources of free books. So on the whole, I'm not a sourpuss about them. Also the library has a zillion functions, beyond providing YA books to kids.

But I'm just uncertain about how they intersect the library system - is there an implication that they are filling a niche that was heretofore unaddressed? Is the problem is that the library is too far away for kids to get there on their own? And so these serve as little block-wide libraries? Surely these are not popping up in all neighborhoods equally. I dunno.


 

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Guest Post - Next Up: Science Proves You Need To Stop Touching Your Face

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.02.15

Dairy Queen writes: And exquisite manners boosts your immune system!

Heebie's take:

Be honest: Are you snacking right now? You are, aren't you? It's okay -- so am I.

Actually, I'm not! I am drinking coffee.

Also, from the sidebar at the link, "A Study Suggests You Should Force People to Tell You About a Time You Were Awesome". Sounds great!


 

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Peeple Peeple Peeple

Posted by Ogged
on 10.01.15

The Peeple app folks have become the subject of the internet rage machine. Whatever you think of that, this tweet from a parody account (and all the people who thinks it's real) made me laugh.


 

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VRA violations

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.01.15

Alabama is closing 31 of its satellite DMV offices. Majority-black voting districts are nearly all seeing their DMV close. Also Alabama requires a state=issued photo ID to vote.

via becks


 

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Piggies

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.01.15

LW writes: BGI has successfully used the recently developed techniques for editing germline genome to produce viable clones of miniature pigs. Technically impressive (targeted genome modification and cloning), also useful (much better than rats and cheaper than full-size pigs for testing experimental medicines).

But, "Now that we've got them, let's also sell them as pets!". Not television humor, this is real life. Welcome to the future.

ALso interesting, BGI chose to publish in Chinese in what amounts to their own journal rather than in Nature, Science, or Cell.

Heebie's take: they're so cute! we all want one.


 

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Pandora's Box (titter)

Posted by Ben
on 09.30.15

Have you ever wondered about Lulu? The Lou Reed/Metallica album, I mean. If you have, why not read this rejected proposal for a 33 1/3 book on the album? You could also listen to the album, which will quickly reveal to you—if you hadn't already guessed—that the weak point is really Lou Reed.


 

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All-Time

Posted by Ogged
on 09.30.15

Any basketball fans left here other than NickS? Something that's been going around a bit is people building their all-time starting 5. After much reflection and soul-searching, I'm ready to share mine. It's not a list of all-time best at each position, as you'll see. Close seconds in parenthesis.

PG - Magic
SG - Jordan
SF - Bird (LeBron)
PF - Hakeem (Rodman)
C - Kareem

Bird might seem like a stretch at the 3, but if there's one thing this team is weak on, it's 3-point shooting, so I take his shot over LeBron's athleticism, and people forget that Bird was actually a solid defender.

Most of the lists leave off Hakeem, which is nuts, and a Jordan effect, because if not for MJ, Hakeem would have been the best player in the world for a solid decade.

And about 80% of lists have Shaq at center, which must be a familiarity effect, because as dominant as Shaq was for some of his years, it's not really close between him and Kareem, and the free throws are a killer.

And Rodman a close second because he was the most disruptive player I saw play. In his prime, his defense and rebounding were incredible, and this team doesn't need another scorer.

What say you?


 

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Let Us Rate Negatively

Posted by Ogged
on 09.30.15

An appropriately condemnatory review of a service that lets people rate...each other. In practice, this will be a much-hyped nothing, with some people fluffing their friends before everyone abandons the service as useless. But of course it will also be used for harassment, and really, what kind of moral zilch thinks this is a good idea? Oh, they answer that question on their website.

Innovators are often put down because people are scared and they don't understand. We are bold innovators and sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that because we love you enough to give you this gift.


 

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Freedom!

Posted by Ogged
on 09.30.15

A bunch of armed right-wing whackjobs plan to protest at mosques around the country in a couple of weeks. What could go wrong? This stuff is in the air, but folks like Ben Carson do a lot to make these people feel like they can come out into the open.


 

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More megachurch money, more mega problems.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.30.15

Joel Osteen's megachurch clears around $600,000 in one weekend from the donation plates alone. Not counting online contributions or higher donations around holidays. (Because one weekend's worth got stolen.) (Clearly they should be tax-exempt.)


 

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For Real

Posted by Ogged
on 09.30.15

Speaking of Hillary Clinton and "authenticity," this Frank Bruni column is so egregious that it only makes sense as a suicide note. Sorry to see you go, Frank, but you've convinced me it was the right decision.


 

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Aww You Saaaad?

Posted by Ogged
on 09.29.15

An unsatisfying treatment of an interesting subject: guys used to cry all the damn time, then it became shameful. What happened?

I don't know, they stopped having brain damage from lead goblets?

It's unsatisfying because a rallying cry for men to let the tears flow doesn't make a lot of sense without considering the broader phenomenon that men aren't really supposed to have all that many feelings, period. Acceptable: fidelity (I love you, man), anger (fuck you), angry joy (fuck yeah), angry amorous love (fuck your brains out). Unacceptable: everything else. Most guys don't have the language or even the awareness to discuss their own feelings, let alone feel comfortable enough to let those feelings turn them into snot-streaked blubbering balls of shame shaming their family name.

Also, this was so wrong I almost stopped reading.

it's acceptable for him to well up when he slams his fingers in a car door

No.


 

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Anne Hathaway

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.29.15

Apparently everyone hates Anne Hathaway. It's one of those infuriating "women who try too hard are unlikeable" rigged games, but the author is describing the phenomenon, not condoning it.

I'm mostly posting it to bait someone into arguing that Hathaway is actually unlikable and then we can jump all over that person.


 

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Get on this lawn.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.28.15

Things that have improved since I was six:
1. Youth Soccer - in Hawaii's U8 age group, there are about 12 kids on her team. At game time, there were two little fields. The coaches quickly and informally split both teams in half, roughly according to skill and aggressiveness. Then the varsity halves played each other, 4v4, on one field, and the JV halves played each other, 4v4, on the other. The coaches stood between the two fields and coached both halves. (They do not keep score.)

That is such a fantastic way to give less aggressive kids more playing time and touches on the ball. Just having smaller teams isn't sufficient - there's bound to be an aggressive kid who can dominate. You need a systematic way to skim all the aggressive kids off and into their own group, without making a big deal about it. Also, playing 4v4 really cuts down on the clumping swarm phenomenon.

2. Teaching math - Hawaii's math worksheets are fabulous. It's things like ten frames and grouping problems and having things left over, but nothing is algorithmic. It's teaching familiarity and dexterity with individual numbers. Ideally, when someone sees a given number, they should automatically associate all the ways to break it down and how it relates to other numbers (ie, divisors, remainders, sums that work out nicely, etc.)

It is so much better than what I did in elementary school. I went to a Montessori school through 2nd grade, and I remember using manipulatives, but not having much meaning as to why I was counting beads, and barely ever writing anything down. For 3rd-5th, I had a conventional algorithmic introduction to the operations and fractions. Lots of repetition and practice with algorithms.


 

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