The Longest Now

Saying No To School
Tuesday December 04th 2012, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A few cheap vignettes never hurt anybody.

For Blue: W00 in Space
Friday November 30th 2012, 9:59 am
Filed under: fly-by-wire,Glory, glory, glory,international,Uncategorized


Two more for Michael, preserved for eternity (more ComicJK)
Thursday November 29th 2012, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,indescribable,Uncategorized

Best Comic Ever? XKCD has a friend named Comic JK
Wednesday November 28th 2012, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When a date starts to go like this…

Some will say this violates Occam’s razor…

Take the World’s Smallest (and first two-dimensional!) Political Quiz
Friday November 16th 2012, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

by David Nolan, in 1969; via Jenn Pahlka.


Dan Ariely on Classroom Ethics 101: Socialized Cheating
Thursday November 15th 2012, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dan is inspiring here as usual, on the familiar but awkward subject of collective cheating – and notes a strong dichotomy of positive and negative reactions among his own students around cheating.  (Now why this should be correlated to goofing off in class is not reflected on in his post, though he notes the relationship.  I have some ideas, based on how much a class is seen as being ‘for show’.  But that’s for another post.)

Jellyfish grow at 100K/m^2 under sea structures ?
Tuesday November 06th 2012, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In some coastal waters, at least.


Enlightening thoughts on nonlocality from the great Serge Haroche
Monday November 05th 2012, 11:56 am
Filed under: Too weird for fiction,Uncategorized

Entanglement, Decoherence, and the Quantum/Classical Boundary

via Johannes Koelman.

Bigipedia 2.0 – Britain sends up the wisdom of crowds
Wednesday October 31st 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: citation needed,international,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia

“At last, the long-awaited release of Bigipedia 2.0 – the infallible, ever-present cyberfriend is back! Now with all errors and mistakes.”

Every episode of Bigipedia is worth listening to. From David Tyler and #Pozzitive, via the UK wikivine.

Trap her, keep her —
Wednesday October 17th 2012, 4:19 am
Filed under: %a la mod,indescribable,Uncategorized

via Mitt Romney.

UNHRC: Periodic Rights Review (US edition, part 2)
Saturday October 13th 2012, 12:37 am
Filed under: international,metrics,poetic justice,Rogue content editor,Uncategorized

Earlier this year I wrote a bit about the latest UNHRC periodic rights review of the US, something that happens for every country once every four years.  Norway offered the most excellent advice, making 7 solid apolitical recommendations.

They didn’t rehash international policy disputes or convention-signing, which can be nominal at best: and focused instead on essential changes that can be carried out now, and would be historically significant. If we implemented their 7 recs, our nation would be a better place.  Here they are, consolidated (with the # of the rec, and our response):

  1. Consider a human rights institution at the federal level to ensure implementation of human rights in all states (74: yes, will consider, but no current plan)
  2. Take further measures in economic and social rights for women and minorities, including equal access to decent work and reducing the number of homeless people (113: yes)
  3. Take measures to eradicate all forms of torture and illtreatment of detainees by military or civilian personnel, in any territory of jurisdiction, and that any such acts be thoroughly investigated (139: yes)
  4. Take steps to set federal and state-level moratoria on executions with a view to abolish the death penalty nationwide (122: blanket no)
  5. Review federal and state legislation with a view to restricting the number of offences carrying the death penalty (132: blanket no)
  6. Apply the model legal framework of the Leahy Laws to all countries receiving US security assistance, with human rights records of all units receiving such assistance  documented, evaluated, made available and followed up upon in cases of abuse (227: no more than now. ‘we already do this, but in secret’)
  7. Remove the blanket abortion restrictions on humanitarian aid covering medical care given to women and girls who are raped and impregnated in armed conflict (228: no, sorry. “due to currently applicable restrictions”)

The death penalty is increasingly considered outmoded and barbaric in most of the world, yet in our domestic discussions it is seen as a reasonable option – more a matter of regional preference than a fundamental moral matter. 35  states currently allow it.

And what’s up with the 7th point above?  The US has imposed restrictions on its international aid funding over the past few decades to prevent aid recipients from using those funds to provide abortions or suggest them as an option for family planning.  The most well-known example of this is the Mexico City Policy , instated by Reagan and since repealed or reinstated by each preseident in the first days of his term, along party lines.  This affected roughly $100M of aid given to family planning programs; and is also called the “global gag rule” because it prohibited aid recipients from using any of their funds for abortion care.

Today, while the MCP stands repealed, there are other similar restrictions in force – including the one highlighted by Norway.   They are reportedly the first country to bring the issue up in an international setting, as part of a campaign launched with the Global Justice Center.

Overall, I am fascinated at how unified and sane most of these recommendations are. It reminds me that peer review by a large group of peers tends toward the awesome, constructive side of the scale, even when the peer group includes some trolling and posturing.

A Four-Poster Fling: Seattle fraternity party history
Monday October 08th 2012, 10:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Structured bed-dancing from 1954.

Brand the Internet: Miss Manners’ Dos and Donts For the Internet
Wednesday September 26th 2012, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A case study by Tom Morris.  (Previously: slowly learning to say ‘yes’ )

Please, template authors: don’t rewrite Wikidata with some template hacks
Sunday September 23rd 2012, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized,wikipedia

Tim Starling asks template authors and geo-mavens to be patient.

Prepare for the end, apocalyptically, of… the calendar year
Tuesday September 18th 2012, 5:13 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,Uncategorized

On December 21 this year we should all make text posts that sound really apocalyptic but aren’t, like

because I turned up the heater


from my tv

or even

the dancefloor


I might lose this game of hide-and-seek

via unwinona

Gyrovague muses on fast-food franchises in…
Tuesday September 18th 2012, 1:52 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,citation needed,meta,Uncategorized

the age of lawsuits.

you thought this would involve SPACE, didn’t you?

Dubstep to sleep to: Mike Tompkins – Ezra Keshet’s fantasy artist
Monday September 17th 2012, 10:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dynamite Fireworks via PBP

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