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Not Flat

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.07.18

This is someone I know from FB:

Bowles was on the operating room table seconds away from going under anesthesia when, she says, she heard her surgeon tell her, "I'm just going to leave a little extra skin in case you change your mind.
Bowles knew the sedative was "dripping into her veins" and that at any second she would cede control to a surgeon who had just revealed his intention to do something she'd explicitly asked him not to do. She felt panicked, but her body was unable to move. She recalls saying no twice, repeating that she wanted to be flat.
Then everything went black.

 

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The Universe, Man

Posted by Ogged
on 09.07.18

 

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Reproducibility

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.07.18

Here's a fun quiz: Can you guess which social science experiments replicated successfully and which did not - just from reading a brief description of their results? (I did dismally.)


 

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Leaks

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.06.18

Between Woodward's book, that op-ed, and the Kavanaugh hearing, there's not a lot of oxygen left in the room, but all those things are being discussed in the Kavanaugh thread.

Here's another thing that's leaking oxygen:

Last week astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) awoke to a worrying message from flight control. Hidden somewhere on board the ISS was a tiny pressure leak that was slowly allowing air to seep out of the spacecraft and into the abyss.
The six astronauts on board were not in any imminent danger, although locating the leak was their top priority for the day. The US crew hunkered down in the Russian segment and sealed off all the compartments one by one.
A two millimetre hole was at last discovered in the Russian segment itself. And while that hole may not seem very big, if nothing had been done to fix it, it would have deprived the ISS of air in just 18 days. The hole was immediately sealed over with a special type of tape to buy the astronauts some time for a permanent solution.

Yikes! Space holes are no joke! So what, were they hit by space debris or a tiny rock?

"We are considering all the theories," said Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, according to the Russian news agency Tass. "The one about a meteorite impact has been rejected because the spaceship's hull was evidently impacted from inside".
Then, things began to get shadier. A photo, released by NASA and then mysteriously deleted, reveals what looks strangely like a drill hole.
"It was done by a human hand - there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface," confirmed Rogozin.

I should just stop here because this is the peak of the story. You can see the photo of the drill hole at the link. Or maybe I'm just desensitized to excitement due to things like the Kavanaugh thread and need a higher fix than the resolution of this story provides. At any rate:


Another anonymous source confirmed that the hole was accidentally drilled by a worker at Energia, who decided to hide their mistake with a seal and decorative fabric instead of reporting it.

For two months, the gamble paid off. Their patchy solution even managed to pass the spacecraft's pressurisation tests before it was launched into space to meet up with the ISS. But then, the seal began to leak.
"[Once in orbit], the glue dried and was squeezed out, opening the hole," the second source told RIA Novosti.

So there you have it.


 

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Guest Post - "My New Friends [on Youtube]"

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.05.18

Nick S. writes: A long essay tracing an intellectual journey as the result of a relationship breakup, which ends up being a productive framing. I thought her thoughts on the present social/political moment interesting, but not particularly insightful, but thought this (from late in the article) was genuinely touching.


... Amid this thought came a devastating epiphany: Over these years, I'd weaned myself off the long conversation of my marriage by switching over to the conversations of Free Speech YouTube. It wasn't just political loneliness I'd felt--it was the loneliness of a partnership ended, a dialogue converted to an interior monologue. Having lost my human intellectual ally, I'd tried to rig up a new ally -- or a whole group of allies -- via internet videos.

I also wondered this: Maybe my bloodlust for left-on-left warfare wasn't just a petty indulgence but a substitute for the warfare of my marriage itself. My husband had been at once the best thing about my life and the worst thing. He kept me sane yet drove me crazy. I wasn't so far gone as to draw a literal comparison between my marriage and my relationship with Free Speech YouTube, but there were ways in which they were mirrors of one another. My Free Speech YouTube friends functioned as intellectual allies, yet they disappointed me as often as they bolstered me.....

Heebie's take: Oh man. She's right about a lot of things but goddamn it, I can't stand her.

More or less, she's describing her relationship to the progressive movement since the late 80s, and specifically how it's veered in the last three years:

This summer, amid a roiling debate (largely taking place on Twitter, but roiling nonetheless) between what you might call the civility camp versus the outrage camp of the Trump resistance, nuance became a kind of fighting word. For civility types, who fear that displays of indiscriminate and unfettered rage against the Trump regime are as strategically misguided as they are viscerally satisfying, nuance is what's sorely lacking. In the outrage camp, the call for nuance is sometimes seen as a form of tone policing, a dog whistle for centrist and right-leaning scolds whose privilege blinds them to the severity of the crisis before them. Both sides have a point (naturally).

She does have an actual point - the reason it's much more pleasant to chat politics here rather than on Twitter is because we're not a bunch of twats, in addition to having a moral compass to our politics. But argh, she still seems like she's criticizes people exactly when I find them sympathetic, and recoils from people exactly when I'm inclined to cut them slack, and then she bonds with people exactly when I find them off-putting and not worth my time.


 

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Kavanaugh

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.04.18

Per suggestion in the comments, discuss away.


 

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Fall Festival

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.04.18

This New Yorker Bannon mess seems like the most unforced of dumb-ass errors. (It's not in the same league as raising and lowering the flag for McCain of course, but standards are asymmetric.)


 

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