Wow, if I don’t post every week this is going to get pretty out of control.
I read this argument from NdGT about what science is. I strongly disagree with some of what he had to say.
We have chins, and here’s an article about why that’s weird, including some terrible, adaptationist, pseudo-evolutionary theories about why.
A fun video about quantum, which doesn’t actually make sense, but, y’know, Paul Rudd, fun, etc.
I really hope that Eugene figures out a way to develop without turning into sprawling Californian horribleness. But we don’t have The Pit anymore! Progress! Onwards!
A rant about Hillary Clinton and double-standards. I don’t think it makes me like her more, but it is important to interrogate why we feel the way we do about her.
Unsurprisingly, when conservative media outlets reported that UO was too liberal and sensitive for a quotation from MLK, it was completely wrong. I’m filing this under my growing collection of stories in which (predominantly) old, white men are annoyed about how the kids today are so super sensitive about everything that no one on college campuses can ever say what they feel anymore. I work on college campuses. I can say pretty much whatever occurs to me to say, because I’m not a misogynistic bigot. If you feel like you have to self-censor on a college campus, check first with yourself before blaming campus culture. Basically, check yo self.
So that’s all the old stuff. Then all of a sudden:
We live in the frickin’ future and can detect two bottomless regions of spacetime converging, by measuring a change in distance equal to one ten thousandth of the diameter of a proton, over four kilometers. So, they were measuring a distance of 4.0 km, and then it was about 4.00000000000000000001 km. And that’s the gravitational wave from two black holes orbiting each other faster and faster until they’re in the same place. Which makes no sense. But anyway, yeah, we as a species and a civilization can measure that now. Here’s another way of thinking about it that might help but really won’t. This is like measuring the distance from where we are to the nearest star (not Sol) to within the thickness of a human hair. Anyway, Einstein predicted all of this a century ago when we couldn’t imagine it, let alone confirm it, and couldn’t even begin to imagine measuring it, and now it’s true and we can measure it and we just saw it happen. Deal with it.
Aw jeez. What to think about after that?
Well, the standoff in Oregon is over. And the lawyers representing Ammon Bundy may have violated the rules of the Oregon Bar. They claim it’s not a big deal. Complaints have been filed, but that doesn’t mean much. Also the head of this firm was reprimanded for providing alcohol to a minor after prosecuting that minor for driving under the influence. (He took the minor out for dinner after prosecuting her and bought her two glasses of wine.) And I started down this path because a Nevada state Assemblywoman was calling this lawyer, Mike Arnold, a hero for helping to resolve the situation peacefully. Keep chasing those high profile cases, Atty. Arnold! Best of luck to you!
And then, Justice Scalia died. Boy did he say, write, and enforce as law some awful stuff in his lifetime. But Justice Kagan really liked him? The world is a strange place. And here’s a last bit of strange logic, courtesy of Sen. Mitch McConnell: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Why don’t I get to grade this guy’s writing? Who were his teachers? Are they ashamed? (Briefly: The American people have an indirect voice in choosing supreme court justices, through their elected representative at the head of the executive, and their two representatives in the senate. That’s true of the current President and Senators, and will be no different after the next election. I suspect that Sen. McConnell already knows this. Maybe he just doesn’t like the current President?)
**Edit: Sen. Warren said it quite well.
Also I read a couple books but I will write about them later.
Oh yeah and also I have a job where I project what vegetation will do in the future. I said that a beloved ecosystem was going to disappear from the planet, which seemed pretty crazy to me when I said it, but I had the data to back it up so I published my findings. Anyway, it’s happening right now.