DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for March, 2013

3-D Printer With Nano-Precision Sets World Record

31st March 2013

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Using a technique known as two-photon lithography, Austrian researchers have developed a high-precision 3-D printer capable of producing nanometer-sized objects in the shape of race cars, cathedrals and bridges — all in a matter of minutes.

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‘Ten Things I Hate About L.A.’

31st March 2013

Gavin MacInnes vents.

Los Angeles is to life what New York City is to a woman’s ovaries. It’s an elephant’s graveyard where stupid losers go to die. Here are 10 reasons why.

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Let’s Go Back to Grouping Students by Ability

31st March 2013

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What do you want to bet that ‘ability’ will include racial and ethnic quotas if any politically fashionable minorities wind up ‘underrepresented’.

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Evolution May Be More Random Than Previously Believed

31st March 2013

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I dunno, I’ve always thought it was pretty random.

Give evolution enough time and space, they say, and new species can just happen. Speciation might not only be an evolutionary consequence of fitness differences and natural selection, but a property intrinsic to evolution, just as all matter has gravity.

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Defense Distributed Plans to Have Fully 3D-Printable Gun by End of April

31st March 2013

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“Well to have a printable gun – it’s my intention to have that done by the end of this month and we’re at the end of March now so it’s my intention to have it done by April,” he said.

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How to Make a Computer From a Living Cell

31st March 2013

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

The Stanford researchers’ genetic logic gate can be used to perform the full complement of digital logic tasks, and it can store information, too. It works by making changes to the cell’s genome, creating a kind of transcript of the cell’s activities that can be read out later with a DNA sequencer. The researchers call their invention a “transcriptor” for its resemblance to the transistor in electronics. “We want to make tools to put computers inside any living cell—a little bit of data storage, a way to communicate, and logic,” says Drew Endy, the bioengineering professor at Stanford who led the work.

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Arabs in France Beat Anti-Occupation Israeli Film Director

31st March 2013

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Arab men assaulted an Israeli film director in southern France following the screening of his film criticizing Israeli occupation.

Yariv Horowitz was rendered unconscious as a result of the beating Monday by several men after a screening of “Rock the Casbah” at a film festival in Aubin, Army Radio reported Thursday.

Arabs beat Jews for fun, and it doesn’t matter if the Jews are on their side.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Arabs in France Beat Anti-Occupation Israeli Film Director

Flashback: When Democrats Swore They Would Never Back Gay Marriage

31st March 2013

Read it. And by all means watch the video.

Above, you’ll find a short video composed of the floor speeches some top Democrats made about SSM. At the time, Republicans wanted to block gay marriage in Massachusetts by amending the constitution with an official marriage definition. Democrats argued against that, but they didn’t argue in favor of gay marriage. They argued that DOMA made such an amendment unneccessary. They assured people like Rick Santorum that the slippery slope case for gay marriage was bogus.

‘Hey! You fucked up! You trusted us!’ — Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman, damned glad to meet you.

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Red States Gain Population as Americans Seek Freedom, Economic Opportunity

31st March 2013

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Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by the George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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One Drug to Shrink All Tumors

31st March 2013

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A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

Let’s dump it on Congress and see whether it really works.

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Los Angeles–Los Angeles!–No Longer Attracting Immigrants

31st March 2013

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In the public policy basket case that is my native state of California, one of the most underrated of the many mind-blowing statistical measures of decline is the fact that–for the first time in recorded history–a majority of the Golden State’s residents were born there. Which helps explain, among other things, why California in 2010, again for the first time, failed to pick up a seat in the House of Representatives. A state whose very identity and economic engine were founded on attracting dreamers from elsewhere has not really come to grips with the fact that it is no longer doing that anymore.

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Nullifying Food Regulations

31st March 2013

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In a referendum election on March 4, [Brooksville] residents voted 112-64 to approve the “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance,” which states that producers or processors of local foods are “exempt from licensure and inspection,” so long as the food is sold directly by the producer to a consumer.

The ordinance also makes it “unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights organized by this ordinance.”

Looks like a grass-fed roots revolution.

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Tiger Mom, Real Estate Edition: Chinese Woman Buys $6.5 Million Apt. for 2-Yr-Old Daughter

31st March 2013

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Hey, here’s another item for the “Crazy stuff rich Chinese people will do for their kids” file! Hot on the heels of the Hong Kong couple who spent $2.2 million on a college consultant (who failed to get their sons into Harvard), here’s the tale of the Chinese woman who bought a $6.5 million apartment at a super luxurious 57th Street condo for when her daughter goes to college in the city. That’ll be sometime in 2029, because her daughter is currently 2-years-old.

Hey, it never hurts to be prepared.

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7 Most Bizarre Types of Cheese

31st March 2013

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It always astounds me what people will not only eat, but actually pay money for.

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8 Facts You May Not Have Known About Salt

31st March 2013

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Just trying to spread the knowledge around, here.

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Obamacare Gets Juicy: Obama Hipsters Learn Health Care Law Comes at a Heavy Cost

31st March 2013

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Somebody’s gotta pay for your Obama Phone….

See, it was hard enough for us to make ends meet in New York City as full-time retail workers. But by keeping hours under 30 per week, Juicy Couture will no longer be required to offer their workers affordable health care – part of the Affordable Health Care Act’s plan to make sure more working Americans have basic health care. Further, we were told we’re only eligible for paid time off in case we’re sick or have other responsibilities if we work 1400 hours in one year. We did the math, and realized part-time workers would never hit the 1400 hours in a year at 21 hours per week. This means that the vast majority of Juicy Couture’s workers will not ever get one single paid sick day.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Since it is probably a safe bet that many of Juicy Couture’s (former) employees voted for Barack Obama, it appears that they are (or should be) learning three things simultaneously:

1. The law of unintended consequences;
2. Elections do matter; and
3. There’s no free lunch.

In their case, as with so many other Obama supporters, one might add: Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | Comments Off on Obamacare Gets Juicy: Obama Hipsters Learn Health Care Law Comes at a Heavy Cost

How Much Land Do Rich People Use Up?

31st March 2013

Steve Sailer spanks the Washington Post.

 I’ve spent most of my life living in Los Angeles and Chicago between really rich people on one side and poor people on the other. One thing I’ve noticed is that the rich don’t really take up all that much room.

When I go for a hike in the Hollywood Hills, for instance, I often walk by an imposing gated estate that other hikers assert is owned by some major movie star: Will Ferrell is the most popular claim. But it looks like about 4 to 8 acres, most of that steep hillside.

Last year I taking out the trash when I heard a whoop-whoop-whoop from overhead. I looked up and there was the Marine Corps One helicopter carrying the President to his fundraiser at George Clooney’s house, around the corner from the supposed Will Ferrell manor. To be precise, Obama’s helicopter was on its way to an airport to land, from which Obama’s motorcade would wind up into the canyon. Clooney’s house is 7,354 square feet and his estate is 3.16 acres, and apparently doesn’t have a big enough lawn to safely land a large helicopter upon.

I’m trying, but I’m having a hard time feeling really oppressed by the fact that George Clooney’s house is about as big as my yard. That doesn’t strike me as unreasonable.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on How Much Land Do Rich People Use Up?

‘Give Him the Boot’

31st March 2013

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So it now turns out that Jeffrey Hillman, the barefoot beggar who famously received a free pair of boots from a big-hearted police officer, not only has an apartment but pockets as much as several hundred dollars a day while pretending to be homeless.

Hillman freely admitted as much to a team of Post reporters who followed him home on the subway Sunday — and then watched as he calmly counted a huge wad of bills. Not to mention that he seems to be the Imelda Marcos of the streets, with at least 30 pairs of shoes and boots.

Most New Yorkers will doubtless be disappointed to learn that the inspiring tale of a police officer’s kindness to a man in distress would have such a cynical denouement. Few, however, will be surprised. Even so, there is a moral to this story that is especially timely.

This is an old problem — Sherlock Holmes famously dealt with a similar case.

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Advenstures With Assholes in Uniform

31st March 2013

Read it. And watch the video.

Two Sarasota County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies seemed a bit miffed when Charles Ross jumped over a picnic table they were sitting on. But when they noticed he was recording them they got really angry. Threatening to ruin his day, they pulled him to the ground, handcuffed him and arrested Ross for breach of the peace and disorderly conduct.

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It’s Okay to Not Like Things

31st March 2013

Watch it.

An anthem for those of libertarian persuasion everywhere.

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Marissa Mayer’s Misstep and the Unstoppable Rise of Telecommuting

31st March 2013

Joel Kotkin takes Silicon Valley’s Sweetheart to the woodshed.

Marissa Mayer’s pronunciamento banning home-based work at Yahoo reflects a great dilemma facing companies and our country over the coming decade. Forget for a minute the amazing hubris of a rich, glamorous CEO, with a nursery specially built next to her office, ordering less well-compensated parents to trudge back to the office, leaving their less important offspring in daycare or in the hands of nannies.

The real issue is how we deal with three concerns: the promotion of families; humane methods to reduce greenhouse gases; and, finally, how to expand the geography of work and opportunity.

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Common Drug Has the Potential to Slow Aging, Boost Cancer Recovery

31st March 2013

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Some exciting research from the University of Montreal has found that the drug metformin, commonly prescribed for diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), has the potential to slow aging and fight cancer. The study, published in Aging Cell, found that metformin reduces the body’s production of inflammatory cytokines, which accelerate aging.

Watch the FDA prohibit it being used for such an unapproved purpose.

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Obama Could Learn From Pope Francis’s Modesty

31st March 2013

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But he won’t. He is, after all, the Magic Negro, and probably thinks that the Pope would do well to learn from him.

Tuesday’s report that Pope Francis has chosen to live in a modest two-room apartment within the Vatican rather than the more spacious ten-room Papal Apartment on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace offers a stark contrast to the numerous reports of personal extravagance by President Obama, his family, and his administration throughout his tenure in office.

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The Largest Computer Ever Built

31st March 2013

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Nothing like being on the receiving end of Communist ICBMs to concentrate the mind.

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Can Small Reactors Ignite a Nuclear Renaissance?

31st March 2013

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Not with the current political climate, I suspect. Notice that the discussion is all in terms of government funding at the hands of the Department of Energy; no mention of eliminating the bullshit regulations that make building nuclear powerplants too expensive.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

31st March 2013

Rythym of the Night

Why, yes, I do like disco. Why do you ask?

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Busting the Most Common Kitchen Myths

31st March 2013

Check it out.

 

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Gun Makers Facing New Limits Urged To Relocate

31st March 2013

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Magpul Industries, which manufactures firearms accessories and ammunition magazines, said on its Facebook page that it would have “no choice” but to leave if the magazine bill was signed, causing an opening for states eager to prove they’re more gun-friendly.

Grassroots Facebook pages have popped up – some, before the Colorado bills were even signed – encouraging Magpul to settle in places like Alabama, West Virginia or Texas. Alaska state Rep. Tammie Wilson’s staff created a Facebook page, too, called “Magpul Industries – Alaska Wants You.”

One of the advantages that the United States have over unitary states like Britain is that, when one jurisdiction gets panicked into passing a stupid law, people have someplace to go. Hence the loss of population to places like Texas that California and Michigan are experiencing.

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After Service Disruption, Egypt Arrests Three Divers Severing Undersea Internet Cable

31st March 2013

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Curiouser and curiouser. I’m waiting to see how long it will take for somebody to blame it on Israel or the United States.

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Gut Microbes Could Help Us Lose Weight

31st March 2013

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The studies aren’t the first to tie gut microbes to obesity. Several years ago, when the study of the microbiome was first unfolding, researchers found that both people and mice that are overweight tend to have a population of gut microbes different in composition from that of lean individuals (see “Our Microbial Menagerie”). When they lost weight, the microbes changed accordingly. And when microbes from overweight people were transplanted into microbe-free mice, the animals gained more weight than when they were treated with microbes from lean people.

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SCOTUS May Throw Out DOMA Cases Due to DOJ Refusal to Defend

30th March 2013

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In each DOMA lawsuit—including Windsor—the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) has a responsibility to defend DOMA against a constitutional challenge. But President Obama declared that he believes DOMA is unconstitutional and ordered DOJ not to defend it.

The justices discussed whether this means no federal court has jurisdiction to decide the lawsuit. Article III of the Constitution only gives federal courts jurisdiction to decide a “case or controversy.” As the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, an essential element of this is that the lawsuit must be adversarial, meaning both parties try to win the case by making a good-faith argument to persuade the court to side with them.

So much for that bit about ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ in the Constitution. In a Real Country this would mean Obama’s impeachment. But we don’t live in a Real Country any more.

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The Coming of the Industrial Internet

30th March 2013

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The big machines that define modern life — cars, airplanes, furnaces, and so forth — have become exquisitely efficient, safe, and responsive over the last century through constant mechanical refinement. But mechanical refinement has its limits, and there are enormous improvements to be wrung out of the way that big machines are operated: an efficient furnace is still wasteful if it heats a building that no one is using; a safe car is still dangerous in the hands of a bad driver.

It is this challenge that the industrial internet promises to address by layering smart software on top of machines. The last few years have seen enormous advances in software and computing that can handle gushing streams of data and build nuanced models of complex systems. These have been used effectively in advertising and web commerce, where data is easy to gather and control is easy to exert, and marketers have rejoiced.

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Ebay’s Sell It Forward Splits Auction Proceeds With Goodwill

30th March 2013

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Sell it Forward encourages users to sell their used clothes and donate half the proceeds to Goodwill. The pilot program is currently only available in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin, though the company is going out of its way to make the process as painless as possible for those in eligible areas. Instead of creating listings for each item, wannabe auctioneers need only fill the pre-paid mailing bag (provided by eBay) with the clothes and accessories they wish to sell. Everything else will be taken care of for them. Employees will decide if your wares are in decent enough condition to sell, create a listing and, if the item is sold within 14 days, split the proceeds between the “seller” and Goodwill. If the item remains unsold for 14 days it becomes a straight donation to the charity.

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The Threat of Islamic Betrayal

30th March 2013

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A recent assassination attempt in Turkey offers valuable lessons for the West concerning Islamist hate—and the amount of deceit and betrayal that hate engenders towards non-Muslim “infidels.”

The chief thing that most people refuse to remember about Muslims is that they look at non-Muslims the way Jim Crow southerners looked at black people — yeah, they live here, but they’re not really people in the same sense. It’s okay to lie to them, it’s okay to cheat them, it’s okey to steal from them, rob them, and even kill them, if there’s some advantage to a Muslim in doing so.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

Why We Should Eliminate the Corporate Income Tax

30th March 2013

Megan McArdle lays it out.

This is an excellent precis of all the reasons (and there are a lot of them) to quit taxing corporations. It’ll never happen, of course, between ‘progressive’ simple-mindedness and government love of complexity (not to mention the interest groups that benefit from that complexity, and who have the lobbying clout to tickle special favors out of elected officials).

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The Doctor Won’t See You Now. He’s Clocked Out

30th March 2013

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Big government likes big providers. That’s why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain.

Why? Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do. There are too many of them, and the government is too remote. It is far easier for federal agencies to regulate physicians if they work for big hospitals. So ObamaCare shifts money to favor the delivery of outpatient care through hospital-owned networks.

The irony is that in the name of lowering costs, ObamaCare will almost certainly make the practice of medicine more expensive. It turns out that when doctors become salaried hospital employees, their overall productivity falls.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

ObamaCare’s main vehicle for ending the autonomous, private delivery of medicine is the hospital-owned “accountable care organization.” The idea is to turn doctors into hospital employees and pay them flat rates that uncouple their income from how much care they deliver. (Ending the fee-for-service payment model is supposed to eliminate doctors’ financial incentives to perform extraneous procedures.)The Obama administration also imposes new costs on physicians who remain independent—for example, mandating that all medical offices install expensive information-technology systems.

The chief obstacle to a person going into business for himself is government regulations, always and everywhere.

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Totally Insane Star Baby Names

30th March 2013

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Well, it’s Saturday.

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Jumbo Squid-Cam Uncovers Secrets of Elusive Creature

30th March 2013

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Attaching a quart-sized device with a camera and sensors to a squid presents some technical problems. The trick is to find a big enough squid and fix the Crittercam onto a child’s bathing suit so that it can be slipped over the creature’s fins like a spandex sleeve, Stanford biologist William Gilly explained in a video.

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Deadly Blood Type Solves 60-Year-Old Medical Mystery

30th March 2013

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Vel-negative blood is one of the most difficult blood types to supply in many countries. This is partly due to its rarity, but also to the dearth of any systematic way to screen for Vel-negative blood from donors. Previously, to identify whether someone was Vel-negative or Vel-positive, doctors had to use antibodies generated by the few known Vel-negative people after their bodies had rejected transfused blood. Many hospitals and blood banks lack access to these antibodies and thus any way to test for Vel.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

30th March 2013

Broadsword Umbrella

Kitchen Gadgets That You Don’t Need

Great Helm Trash Bin

Umbrella Leash

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New $100 Bills May Be Easier to Counterfeit Than to Legally Print

29th March 2013

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Strange Biology Inspires the Best New Materials

29th March 2013

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Plus a number of major motion pictures, but that’s a story for another day.

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Why IBM Made a Liquid Transistor

29th March 2013

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Well, there was this government grant money just sitting there, you know, and ….

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Don’t Get Offended

29th March 2013

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One oft-underestimated threat to epistemic rationality is getting offended. While getting offended by something sometimes feels good and can help you assert moral superiority, in most cases it doesn’t help you figure out what the world looks like. In fact, getting offended usually makes it harder to figure out what the world looks like, since it means you won’t be evaluating evidence very well. In Politics is the Mind-Killer, Eliezer writes that “people who would be level-headed about evenhandedly weighing all sides of an issue in their professional life as scientists, can suddenly turn into slogan-chanting zombies when there’s a Blue or Green position on an issue.” Don’t let yourself become one of those zombies– all of your skills, training, and useful habits can be shut down when your brain kicks into offended mode!

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Massive Energy Skyscraper Proposed on U.S.-Mexico Border

29th March 2013

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The tower is based on a novel energy technology invented in Israel in the 1970s. Intended for hot, dry climates, the tower is essentially a hollow cylinder, open at the top. Water is sprayed into the opening, making the uppermost air humid and heavy. That heavy air sinks and accelerates, reaching speeds of 50 miles an hour before escaping at the base via 52 tunnels, where the rushing air spins turbines and create electricity. (I learned about the idea while reporting a story about new wind-energy designs for Sierra magazine.)

Each tower would generate 610 megawatts of electricity, of which about 100 would power the plant. The remainder would go to the power grid.

No doubt there will be a prize for the first person to figure out how to use it to sneak illegal immigrants into the U.S.

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Home Owners’ Associations: Fascism on the Half Shell

29th March 2013

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I’m not sure what it is about “Homeowners Associations” (HOAs), but I can’t recall ever coming across one which didn’t involve all sorts of acrimony. A few years back, I lived in a house that was a part of a (mandatory) HOA. I was renting, so I didn’t really care or pay much attention to any details. And then, one day I found a bright yellow document sitting on my front step, which had a long and rambling letter from a neighbor who apparently was challenging the HOA on something and the fight had escalated. He had placed the letter on the front steps of every single house in our neighborhood. While I don’t even recall what the argument itself was about, I do recall him explicitly asking that the police be present at the next HOA meeting, and the phrase: “I fear my life will be taken; I fear my wife will become a widow; if this situation is not brought under control.” The whole thing seemed so bizarre to me — who would ever take an HOA so seriously? — that I remember telling people about that phrase, and it’s stuck with me.

And the thing is, every time I ever hear anything about HOAs, it always seems to involve some similar crazy story. A few months back, we wrote about an HOA president in Indiana going ballistic with bogus legal threats towards pretty much anyone who criticized him. And now, here’s a story out of Naples, Florida, where an HOA for “Fiddler’s Creek” is using homeowners’ fees to sue one of their own homeowners, a resident named James Schutt, because he made some comments the HOA board members don’t like on a blog about the community.

Anybody who buys a home covered by a mandatory home owners’ association is obviously insane.

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Return-Free Filing and Interest-Free Politics

29th March 2013

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An interesting story at ProPublica, prepared with assistance from NPR, chronicles efforts to bring “return-free tax filing” to the United States.  It’s a system already used in a few other countries, and more-or-less duplicated by a few business partnerships in the U.S., but it’s something the Internal Revenue Service could implement nationwide.

But they won’t — and you know why.

While acknowledging the reasonable objections some have raised to the concept of return-free filing, the ProPublica article judges that the major reason it’s not happening is lobbying from companies such as Intuit, which make money by selling tax preparation services and software.

The chief obstacle to any simplification and rationalization of government processes is the vast ecosystem of businesses that have grown up around guiding simple citizens and small businesses safely through the labyrinth of government regulations for a comfortable fee. Lawyers and accountants are only the tip of the iceberg; read John Derbyshire’s adventures in the hands of the immigration industry.

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Nevada Democrats May Kick Out Twice-Arrested Assemblyman

29th March 2013

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And, of course, nothing in the news reports indicate that he’s a Person of Color, unless you are lucky enough to get a photograph, as here.

And,of course, if it were Republicans involved, charges of racism would be flying from the east even unto the west.

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Obamas Averaging a Vacation a Month

29th March 2013

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Sometimes it is nice to belong to an oppressed minority.

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Amateur With Metal Detector Finds 1,600-Year-Old Royal Ring

29th March 2013

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The panel’s conclusion: The Escrick Ring was made in Europe, possibly France, and would have belonged to a king or leader — not just a Bishop, as had been previously thought. It’s likely to date far earlier than previously thought as well: the 5th or 6th century, as much as 600 years earlier than archaeologists had believed.

No word on whether it can be used to break The DaVinci Code. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

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