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Meet-up San Francisco

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.06.18

Bostoniangirl writes: Tim has a course he is taking in San Francisco, and I will be tagging along. I land on Saturday October 6 and will be heading out mid-day on Wednesday. I would love to schedule a MeetUp as well as get together with anyone who can't make a meetup for lunch or whatever.

Tim will probably have a conference dinner on the Tuesday evening, so that would be the best evening for me to plan a group meetup. We will probably have some plans on Sunday and/or Monday. Tim has a very old friend who lives outside city, and we'll want to get together the I'll be on my own during the day on Tuesday.

I'd also be grateful for suggestions of things to do. I've heard that the museum of modern art is great, and I may go there on Tuesday. Tim is less enthusiastic about art but loves infrastructure and transportation stuff. He was kind of interested in going to Alcatraz. Is that a ridiculously touristy and cheesy thing to do? Please feel free to e-mail me as well.

Heebie's take: plan away!

Bumped to the top!


 

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Part Quatre

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.05.18

Will the ratfucking conclude before this post drifts off the page? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!


 

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Friday WTFuckery

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.05.18

The only thing to do is translate all this anger into GOTV momentum, right?

I find it particularly tiring to waffle back and forth between devoid of hope that things will ever improve, and taking action. It's hard to take action without rooting for the possibility, if slim, that your work will have some benefit. It's rational to lose all hope, and it's sane to camp out there in eternal pessimism (but a bit lazy, maybe? It excuses not doing the hard work of change.) But it's hard to lose hope again and again and again, because in between you're trying to take action and do the right thing.

(I get particularly annoyed with one colleague who is very uninformed about politics and camps out in being devoid of hope, because he hasn't fucking earned the luxury of just camping out there. If he knew what was going on, then maybe.)

(Actually, to be fair: if he was uninformed and confident that things will improve, that would also drive me nuts. I suppose it's just his degree of being uninformed that gets under my skin.)


 

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Extinction Controversey

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.04.18

I'm very much enjoying this article:

Before the asteroid hypothesis took hold, researchers had proposed other, similarly bizarre explanations for the dinosaurs' demise: gluttony, protracted food poisoning, terminal chastity, acute stupidity, even Paleo-weltschmerz--death by boredom.

What.

A Princeton geologist does not believe the asteroid hypothesis and has spent the past 30 years fighting that it was some volcanoes in India instead, and she gets treated with vicious cruelty.

Anyway then the article says things like this:

Dinosaurs are what paleontologists call "charismatic megafauna": sexy, sympathetic beasts whose obliteration transfixes pretty much anyone with a pulse.

So sexy. I've seen what happens to those lovestruck cars that fall in love with those bad boys.

The article is really long and I need to post this before I go to class, so I'm just going to stop typing now.


 

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Guest Post - This coincidence is never explained

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.03.18

Moby writes: Everything seems both depressing and stressful, but this has cheered me greatly.

Heebie's take:
These are funny:

Blade Runner (1982) Plot hole
Early in the movie, Deckard (Harrison Ford) has a dream involving a unicorn. Later, Gaff (Edward James Olmos) sends him an origami unicorn. The coincidence is never explained.

and

To Have and Have Not (1944) Character error
The instructions that Marie Browning (Lauren Bacall) gives Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) explaining how to whistle do not actually produce a whistle, just a blowing sound.

and

Dirty Harry (1971) Character error
Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) says to a bank robber (Albert Popwell) "You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?" However, that is actually two questions.

I like to picture the bank robber obediently asking himself, "Do I feel lucky? Well, do I, punk?"


 

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Business Man

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.02.18

That Times article sure is long. Yowza:

By age 3, Mr. Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today's dollars from his father's empire. He was a millionaire by age 8. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after Mr. Trump graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s.

and

All told, The Times documented 295 streams of revenue that Fred Trump created over five decades to enrich his son. In most cases his four other children benefited equally. But over time, as Donald Trump careened from one financial disaster to the next, his father found ways to give him substantially more money, records show.

and

The biggest payday he ever got from his father came long after Fred Trump's death. It happened quietly, without the usual Trumpian news conference, on May 4, 2004, when Mr. Trump and his siblings sold off the empire their father had spent 70 years assembling with the dream that it would never leave his family.
Donald Trump's cut: $177.3 million, or $236.2 million in today's dollars.

Less a silver spoon and more a silver kegstand.


 

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I Just Remembered

Posted by Ogged
on 10.02.18

Back when I wasn't commenting we had Linsanity, and a thread about why Jeremy Lin hadn't been identified as a greater talent. I wanted to say "It's a fluke month! He'll be a regular backup in two years!" In fact, I wrote that in my calendar, which I've kept since I was three.

This is all by way of saying that Lin is, and has been for a while, a serviceable backup, which is what folks in the NBA always expected.

Consider this a start-of-NBA-season thread.


 

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Guest Post - Change of Pace

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.02.18

CharleyCarp writes: I mentioned some months ago, that I'd done an Ancestry DNA test, mainly to see if I could resolve a couple of 18th century genealogy questions, and to see if some hitherto unknown 4th cousins might pop up. Results on the first point are pretty weak, and on the second have turned out better than expected.

I uploaded my raw DNA file to GEDmatch, thinking I'd have a decent shot at expanding the reach for both purposes. Not really too helpful on that, but they do have a bunch of neat functions. The best is the Admixture Oracle utility. Basically, you run your file through any of a dozen or more different models, and they tell you what the model shows. I'm not going to pretend that I understand what the result details mean -- this is some scientific shit -- but it's pretty interesting that they think they can distinguish between the DNA predominent in Early European Farmers from European Hunter Gatherers, from folks from other continents. Some models distinguish between North Dutch and South Dutch. Several peg me with a significant percentage of Orcadian. (I assume that this does not mean my ancestors ever lived there, but rather that mine include of bunch of the people whose descendants ended up settling there.) Orcadian is apparently distinctly apparent to the models from Scottish, West Norwegian, South Swedish, and Danish.

A different model gives the following categorizations:

Least-squares method.
Using 1 population approximation:

1 British_Celtic @ 3.045033
2 Bell_Beaker_Germany @ 4.249443
3 Alberstedt_LN @ 4.515233
4 Halberstadt_LBA @ 5.176650
5 British_IronAge @ 5.739661
6 Bell_Beaker_Czech @ 7.336188
7 British_AngloSaxon @ 8.241698
8 Nordic_BA @ 8.594777
9 Nordic_MN_B @ 8.804303
10 Nordic_LN @ 10.366614
11 Unetice_EBA @ 10.915517
12 BenzigerodeHeimburg_LN @ 11.093567
13 Hungary_BA @ 12.793146
14 Nordic_IA @ 12.883222
15 Nordic_LBA @ 13.249299
16 Corded_Ware_Proto_Unetice_Poland @ 13.363498
17 Nordic_BattleAxe @ 13.628033
18 Bell_Beaker @ 13.695739
19 Irish_BA @ 14.976424
20 Unetice_MBA @ 16.131575

No, I don't know what the numbers mean. But, assuming we're still early in reading what the genome has to tell us about prehistory, it does seem kind of cool.

Heebie's take:
1. All this DNA sequencing is such a fun indulgence. It does emphasize genes and race over culture, so it has the potential to sour among assholes, of course. I haven't ordered a kit myself, because both my parents have done them, and I didn't see anything to gain.

2. The GEDmatch is - I think? - the open source database that they used to catch the Golden State Killer via familial DNA. I don't think we ever discussed here how we feel about this? It's creepy surveillance, but I think it's far less creepy than the intense amount of monitoring and tracking done based on our digital footprints.

3. My dad mentioned offhandedly last night that along with BRCA1, he also has the Parkinson's gene. I didn't even know there was a Parkinson's gene. He's 75 and does not have any symptoms, although his grandmother and aunt both had it by that age. He also said that there's some evidence that lots of coffee and exercise may protect slightly against it, which I find to be really a great silver lining.


 

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Short Notice, But Does Anyone In DC Want To Have Dinner Tomorrow Or Thursday?

Posted by LizardBreath
on 10.01.18

I'm in DC for some depositions, but my evenings should be free. I'm staying near the train station, so anywhere near there. But I've lost track of who lives in DC -- possibly I'm shouting into the void.


 

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Guest Post - your Monday morning buzzkill

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.01.18

Mossy Character writes: Horribleness in Cameroon. More graphic horribleness from the BBC (included for the way they match cellphone videos against topography and satellite imagery to get places and times). Likewise for an army atrocity in the separate war against Boko Haram in the north.

Heebie's take: no take. Just horrible.


 

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Part Trois

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.30.18

As the last Kavanaugh thread escapes the grip of the front page, we welcome a new one to slowly drift down, while the saga unfolds.


 

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