Busy news day plus the time to actually read some, so lots of tidbits struck my fancy. This new type of post seems to be workable. BTW, not every story I read gets a comment, just those that have something interesting (to me).
MLK quote: Absurd, the racist blog claims that conservatives, but not liberal embrace MLK’s idea of judging people by character not color. Sure, conservatives do that. All people of color have no character as we all know. Self-serving view of privileged whites, just as the debate about Michelle Obama where black and white feminists disagree about her role. Fact is, most whites (including yours truly) know little about the real life minorities lead so even if this “conservative” statement weren’t just a hypocritical lie it is simply ignorant of reality.
25 people, places and things liberals love to hate: And to the extent this list is even vaguely accurate (it’s mostly a feeble attempt at sarcasm) with good reason, such as this insanely silly (not just untrue, ROTFLMAO stupid), “The fact that Sarah Palin is the single best feminist role model in a generation”. That says it, all – how stupid and childish this list is. Go learn something high school before you start trying to write political commentary.
Fascination with ancient Mars water needs to stop: OK, OK, we get it. Mars had water. It’s gone now. Get over it. Don’t wake me again until you find life or at least evidence of life. And don’t ask for another 1.5B$ to go look at another dried-up lakebed. You’ve proved your point, short of little green man staring at you what more do you need. Actually this article makes fun of Mars water search better than I could.
Other states will cave on expanding Medicare: Hey, if Janet Brewer, who hates Obama could do, so will Rick Perry and our governor Dave Heineman. It’s just silly the posturing the governors are doing, turning up their nose at 100% funding (even the 90% in two years is more than they get now) that merely flows into the pockets of doctors and hospital shareholders. Give me a break, they want to keep treating patients who have no money for free instead of getting the blue states to pay taxes to flow to the red states, no way.
Shocker in China: The cheap labor days may be over (even another article about illegal workers sneaking across border into China to find jobs, sounds like good old days in U.S. when coming here was way to make money. The demographics are turning against having unlimited cheap workers. Given the income inequality (GINA index?, another article) is getting almost to U.S. levels, with Chinese street people washing windows of the Beemers of the rich, sounds familiar. So China has imported too much of our economy. Where will U.S. business turn to for outsourcing now? I suppose India is still awash with poor. More China demographics horrors: maybe it’s not just U.S. outsourcing that will suffer but now China will have to figure out how to support aging population with fewer salaried. They can’t copy pretend-U.S.-policy (cutting benefits, since they have none) so I guess they’ll have to recycle wealth via borrowing too, all the Chinese rich now supporting no-doc liar-loans and probably getting Goldman Sachs to securitize that new round of toxic debt requiring the Fed to print more money to bailout China (boy, will they have a huge stack of U.S. paper).
Meaning instead of happiness: This is a long article about Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who posits that pursuit of meaning in life is both more important and prerequisite to happiness (which cannot be pursued). That adversity builds meaning. That focus on others builds meaning. Given he survived the camps he knows something about this, but in fact, what he was originally told as a student (“Life is nothing more than a combustion process, a process of oxidation.”) is more correct.
Another case where 3D structure of DNA matters: Interestingly it has been found that human DNA forms quadra-helical structures, primarily associated with cell division. As usual, hardly has the existence of this structure been found that there are suggestions of cancer therapy to block aggressive cell division. Maybe they need to figure out why it forms first. The overly simplistic (but necessary for reductionist science) notion that only linear sequence of DNA mattered led to much of the hype about the genome project – when will they learn. Figure the mechanisms out first before promising cures. A little more on the story here. It really sucks there isn’t a mechanism for the public to get to actual journal articles and we’re limited to popular press reports instead. There should be, even with paid subscription, an online library of all the journal articles, on limited availability (so they still get to sell the expensive journals to those who absolutely require and can afford them). And the $19.95/article some services charge is absurd for the public. Why can’t monopolies see that volume can often generate more revenue than high prices?
Recession Ghost Towns: The article lists its claims as the nine worst “ghost towns” created by the recession and includes Rio Vista at this location (N38.1977 W121.7181, I found it via Google Earth matching to photo in article). I once did geodashing near Rio Vista but I also recall shortly after moving to California various levee breaks and seeing on the new Rio Vista under water. Perhaps the potential homebuyers, that never came, were being protected by karma to avoid being flooded out someday.
A little late for this: Now RIM is considering licensing BlackBerry software. Who cares now for an obsolete and out-of-fashion platform? RIM demonstrates what happens when you assume you own a market, esp. where it is merely artificially a monopoly during to enterprise IT gods who always get outflanked by appeal to consumers. I saw PCs invade enterprise space as IBM and the minicomputer suppliers, esp. HP, were in denial since there were sure they owned the EDP staff.
Bernstein weighs in on dispute I originally saw as claimed between Krugman and Stiglitz. Jared Bernstein, yet another reputable economist weighs in on the debate about inequality and economic growth, but seems to target Adam Davidson, apparent apologist for the rich (oops, job creators). He seems to be saying that evidence (irrelevant, of course, to Repugs) is inconclusive, except that the trickle-down notions are obviously absurd.
Scarborough blames gerrymandering for Repug craziness: True enough, but so what? Repugs used 2010 census to cement their minority views into majority in the House. But that ignores two issues: a) the Repugs control local politics, esp. with dictatorial control in the south (or Michigan), and, b) Repug voters want it this way (blame them, Joe, not the politicians). There aren’t any moderate Repugs any more (just lazy conventional Repugs who won’t admit the lunatics have taken over the asylum and keep voting Repug out of tradition, or belief that sanity will be restored, or they only listen to FauxNews and think all this is normal and Obama is leading Muslim fifth column). No, Joe, be a little more inclusive in your blame.
Amusing – bad locations for weight loss and Repug control overlap: There is a map in this article, fortunately red and green, showing geographical locations that are good for weight loss (based on five criteria which look semi-reasonable, IMO). It’s interesting how the poor locations map onto Repug terrorist control, although interestingly the Great Plains is out of sync with this (which maps to the notion Repug control may be slipping, like North Dakota’s new Senator). Already the mountain west is showing cracks (too many young people to be crazy and finally places like Montana realize libertarian notions aren’t the same as southern racist Repug) so maybe gyms and non-car commuting will be the crack in the rest of Repug control and we’ll finally see that Repug is now just pre-civil war (oops, War of Northern Aggression) pro-slavery crowd and a few toothless inbred mountain hicks.
Bibi promises lower apartment rents: Here it was a chicken-in-every-pot; I guess in Israel they want cheap rent instead. Of course Bibi and Likud will solve everything with their neocon economic philosophies. But I bet the war they start with Iran may have some adverse effects on rents.
Curmudgeon Frum takes a swing at Obama’s speech: Undoubtedly unhappy that Obama even has a second term David Frum (occasionally not full-on Repug and neocon crazy) blasts Inaugural Addresses as fluff and empty rhetoric and predicts an Obama fail. His complaint is that presidents promise what they can’t deliver. On the surface facts, Frum has a point, but he completely ignores the concept of inspiration that will live on and eventually prevail long after the president is gone. Of the noble changes that have been made how long did they take? But someone has to say them first and bring them all the way to the top of the national dialog before the change process even begins. Of course, never trust a Repug with any idealistic notions since in bonus-driven Wall Street crooks Repug mentality only next quarter bottom-line matters to them. How to think small, David.
Matt Taibbi skewers crook Hank Greenberg: Matt manages his usual thundering indignation again, appropriately aimed at super-crook Hank Greenberg (the creator of AIG mess that has cost us trillions, not just the $187B admitted). Naturally he rails about the audacity of Greenberg suing the government over rescuing the company that Greenberg ran into the ground. However, Matt, in terms of the times, it’s not very appropriate to suggest someone should be shot.
Facebook actually does something useful: Facebook is using its size to pressure chip makers into creating a new kind of flash drive, optimized for “cold storage” (old rarely accessed data). By changing the optimization (fewer writes) perhaps the price can be lower. My oh my – perhaps this means re-inventing EEPROM or even just EPROM. But keeping old forgotten photos on spinning drives that burn electricity to spin and more to cool is stupid, so new low-energy storage is a great idea.
Hearing or vision loss increases chance for dementia: Interesting, they don’t explain the connection but presumably the reduce amount of stimulation plays a role. My first-hand experience, however, showed a connection to depression but not dementia.