If studies can’t prove that the amount of salt we intake is bad for us, then obviously, it’s impossible for a study to be good and right. There is some sense to what Hit Coffee nemesis Marion Nestle is saying, but we do have to remember that she is the same person that previously argued irradiation was bad because it allowed the beef pushers to “get away with” selling beef without e coli. Oh, and she thought a 20oz soft drink had 800 calories. Here’s a better look at the issue.

A friend of mine commented that environmental regulations are aimed at the corporations and benefit the citizenry. I would question that on a number of levels, but particularly at the moment for those who have athsma. Look, I don’t have a problem with wanting to protect the environment, but if we’re going to eliminate this OOC we need to make another one OOC or something so as not to come in between people with athsma and the inhalers they need. This can be a life and death thing.

According to Postmasters, the days of Saturday delivery are numbered. They’ve been saying that since I was a kid, but I believe them this time. Mostly because, unlike in years past, I don’t know that anybody would really care.

In a conversation with David Alexander a week or two ago, I commented on a good article I’d read advocating not-so-high-speed rail. Here it is.

The WiFi hacking neighbor from Hell was sentenced to jail for 18 years. Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend from hell hatched such an elaborate plot that it would make Law & Order blush.

The interesting story of the lowball offer from ESPN that prompted the Big Ten to start their own network and change the college sports model. Even the Big East looks poised to sign a pretty nice TV contract. Too few conferences, to many options for the conferences, I guess.

Also, the difficulty of selling football in Los Angeles. It’s really hard to believe that the city has been without an NFL team for 17 years.

The ins and outs of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement. It seems to me like the players are coming out more as winners than I would have guessed.

A horrifying story of war and homosexual rape in Africa, and the near-complete indifference among goodie-goodie international orgs who fear that any attention drawn to the issue will deflect attention from the female victims that actually matter.


Category: Newsroom

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20 Responses to Linkluster IL

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    Is that picture from ComicCon? The longer I live, the more I realize that guys will put up with anything if they think they are going to get P in the end.

    Nit Pick: 49 in roman numerals is XLIX

  2. Kirk says:

    Off-topic but I’m not sure how else to address it: someone needs to tell Maria her blog is set on private-viewing only.

    Unless, of course, she did it to keep me out. Then… nevermind.

  3. Peter says:

    Off-topic but I’m not sure how else to address it: someone needs to tell Maria her blog is set on private-viewing only.
    Unless, of course, she did it to keep me out. Then… nevermind.

    When I found this out a couple of days ago I submitted a request to be added to the approved-viewers list. No response yet.

  4. trumwill says:

    Maria’s health problem is flaring up and she won’t be able to blog again for a little while. When that happens, she takes the blog down to avoid spam.

  5. trumwill says:

    Mike,

    I discovered that after I posted it. But I think that’s lame. 50-1 is better than 50-10+10-1.

    Yeah, it’s from Comicon. I actually mostly dig the expression of the security guard.

  6. Mike Hunt says:

    But I think that’s lame.

    Tell it to the judge… 😛

    In all seriousness, you do it one digit at a time. First 40 (XL), then 9 (IX).

    Regarding these Cons, I am morbidly curious to attend DexCon next year. Who knows? Maybe I will find true love.

    An an aside, The Floating World is having its annual convention this weekend at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison. What is The Floating World? I will leave that as an exercise for the motivated reader…

  7. trumwill says:

    Regarding these Cons, I am morbidly curious to attend DexCon next year. Who knows? Maybe I will find true love.

    The odds are bad, but the competition is weak.

    I think I’ve mentioned this, but if I havent… when I go to an anime convention, I typically spend not-insignificant amount of time in the hotel bar. I struck up a conversation with the bartender one year. Asked him if he thought all of the costumes and such were strange. He said that the previous week they’d had an S&M convention and girls in sailor moon outfits and thirty-year old obese guys in black lusting after them paled in comparison.

  8. Mike Hunt says:

    The bartender at the S&M convention must be like the lifeguard at the nude beach. You just become numb to your surroundings and concentrate on doing on your job.

    Since you brought up S&M, I can reveal that The Floating World is a convention for sexual deviants of all kinds. I found out about it last year because I went to a deli located in a hotel right by the convention center. Therefore, some of the attendees went to the same deli for dinner and they were wearing their lanyards to allow them entrance to the convention. However, they wouldn’t tell me what the convention was for. So, when I got home, I looked up the name of the group online. Boy was I surprised…

  9. Mike Hunt says:

    For some reason I keep messing up my links. Here is the link to The Floating World.

  10. David Alexander says:

    In a conversation with David Alexander a week or two ago, I commented on a good article I’d read advocating not-so-high-speed rail. Here it is.

    I’ll note that with the initial first round of funding, the only real high speed rail projects were the California and Florida projects. Now with the latter scrapped, we’re left with California, and even with $9B of state bonds set aside, it will need sizable funding from the federal government and willing private investors to make it work. Mind you, if it is partially constructed, it will still see use as a 110 mph railway for Amtrak’s San Joquain services. A few railfans have come up with idea of what to do if full funding doesn’t develop, and so far improvements to existing alignments and building the tunnel to bypass Techapi Pass is seen as the solution to at least allow for 6 hr service from Southern California to the Bay Area. The real problem is that to destroy the passenger air market, we need full high speed rail to deliver the 3.5 hour running time. Some other potential corridors may also need the high average speed that high speed rail delivers to make the trips competitive, while other corridors like Seattle-Portland will never get real high speed rail speeds even at European construction costs because of the terrain. Mind you, it’s still going to be expensive to get that corridor to not suck.

    I’ll write more if you want more of an explanation.

  11. trumwill says:

    Well, as I said, I do wish California all success with its project. I was actually thinking of this subject when I was in a layover in Dallas and saw flights to Houston, Oklahoma City, Austin, and other places where it doesn’t seem to me that flight would be the best option*. They might all be too close for high-speed rail, anyway.

    * – On the other hand, such flights would still likely happen in any event because you’d need connections for people taking non-direct flights. Maybe not for those cities, though, since they are big enough to have a lot of direct ones without using the DFW hub.

  12. Mike Hunt says:

    I went to the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center on Saturday just to see what I could see without actually attending the convention. I saw people carrying whips from their cars. I saw a man with a collar and a woman holding the leash. I saw a girl having a smoke break and started to chat her up. I asked her what she was into, and she said that she was mostly submissive. Then I pointed out the irony that inside you could do pretty much anything you wanted, except smoke. She did not appreciate the irony, giving me a dirty look and saying OF COURSE you can’t smoke. Shows that SWPL values trump anything else.

    As I started to walk to my car, one of the event organizers informed me that the NJCEC was private property, and since I wasn’t a registered attendant, I was not allowed on the premises. So, I left.

    Next year, I will go the hotel bar and hang out, since that is a semi-public place. Same thing for Dexcon.

  13. trumwill says:

    Feel free to report back what you see.

  14. David Alexander says:

    They might all be too close for high-speed rail, anyway.

    Those cities are all within 300 miles of Dallas, so they’re actually perfect for high speed rail! Hell, at 125 mph average speeds, even 400 miles away you’re still looking at a 3.5 hour trip, and 125 mph average speed is at the easy side of the equation given maximum speeds of 190 to 225 mph. With those flights at Dallas converted to rail-trips, it leaves more capacity at the airport for longer haul flights, and having an easy to use connection between the cities changes the economics of traveling between the cities and reduces the barriers considerably.

    On the other hand, such flights would still likely happen in any event because you’d need connections for people taking non-direct flights.

    FWIW, in Europe, instead of flying directly to an airport, some people fly to the main airport, and then take the train the rest of the way*. For example, instead of flying direct to Berlin, I flew into Frankfurt, and then took the train to Berlin while allowing more flexibility and saving $500 on the flight. 🙂

    So while you may have some flights into those respective cities from long-distance flights, but you no longer need to waste capacity on smaller jets for the short haul flights. Plus, with stations along the way, people in the cachement area around the line can also use the line too. It’s not a pure non-stop skipping over the rural hinterland. With high speed rail connections to the airports, you can even get away easy transfers to flights too.

    Again, I’ll write more later.

    *Another example is Brussels where some carriers basically hint at flying into Paris and taking the high speed train the rest of the way. Cologne is now accessed from Frankfurt or Dusseldorf.

  15. trumwill says:

    David,

    I figured that the rail would not be coming from the airports, since resistance to airport expansion is one of the things rail is supposed to do. But assuming we do use airports…

    I guess what we’d need to look at is how many people annually are making flights from Dallas to OKC (for instance), including a portion (though probably not all) connecting flights. Then figure out per-passenger costs of airplane travel versus that of a rail line. If enough people are making that connection, I’m open to it. Therein is where a good deal of my skepticism lies. You cut the time in half compared to driving, but the logistics make it rail or flight more difficult. With the exception of connecting flights, I’m not sure why anyone flies. But there’s a lot that people do that I don’t understand.

    Again, I’ll write more later.

    Let me know ahead of time and we can make a guest post out of it.

  16. David Alexander says:

    Let me know ahead of time and we can make a guest post out of it.

    Cute. I’m far too lazy, and it’s easier to write reactionary comments like this than to go out and write proactive essays in defense of passenger rail. If I ever write it, I’ll actually send it off to you. 🙂

    I figured that the rail would not be coming from the airports, since resistance to airport expansion is one of the things rail is supposed to do.

    The theory is that the airports don’t have to waste capacity on the smaller aircraft that tend to do these really short trips, and they can have some slack capacity for weather issues, peak travel times, and of course, supplementing their long distance offerings. The other theory is that the airlines get out of operating the short-hauls they may not want to operate any more due to questionable profitability.

    FWIW, one of the reasons for the quirky routing in California’s planned line is for the ability to turn the existing sleepy Palmdale Airport into a large, modern facility to serve as a reliever airport with quick access to the LA Area, but also to provide a connection to said airport from the Central Valley which has only small, marginal regional flights back to LA or SF area airports.

    In a Texas case, one could argue that Austin wouldn’t need it’s airport as much if it was an hour and a half train ride away from say, DFW where there are far more offerings available.

    I’m not sure why anyone flies

    It’s interesting that you’ve noted this as I’ve argued to a railfan friend that people who don’t understand high speed rail seem to understand flying. You’re the first person to argue against *flying* too.

    I’ll note that I’m a roadgeek and I like driving, but if there’s something that can do the trip in half the time for a reasonable amount of money, I’ll do it. Door to door from my house is roughly 4 hours or so to Boston if I drive aggressively with no traffic, while flying is about 2.5 hrs to 3 hrs door to door. The train is roughly 4 to 5 hours door to door. Flying is the fastest mode, but it tends to be pricy and the schedules are bit erratic and irregular. Driving provides maximum flexibility, but there’s traffic, and I have to deal with parking at the other end, along risking speeding tickets and being tired. The train is probably the most luxurious option as the seating is better than that of the plane, the pricing is slightly less, and it runs on nearly hourly headways. Regardless of whether I fly or take the train, I can get away with sleeping, reading, or drinking, things I can’t do when I driving. So instead of waking up early and driving, I can sleep and wake up after a brief nap and not be tired, and I can repeat the process on my way back home, so it makes day trips much easier, something that seems to be missing from the American tourism market. We move around a lot, but we don’t seem to do as many inter-city trips as Europeans, and I suspect the lack of trains may explain that.

    And if I need a car at the other hand, it’s easier to just rent a car, get a cab, or use mass transit. As more cities develop their downtowns and improve their transit networks, walking and using the train become easier. And hell, at nearly every major train station in Europe, you can rent a car, so even they don’t think it’s a sin to rent at the endpoint.

  17. ? says:

    Regarding Saturday mail delivery, it makes being a Netflix user more convenient.

  18. ? says:

    Don’t know about Africa, but last spring I got tagged to do escort duty for some NGO-types visiting ISAF HQ. I wasn’t involved in the substance of their visit, they just needed a warm body to stand out by the front gate to shepherd them in. We wound up waiting a long time because the NGOs got hung up at one of the more outer layers of security. Which surprised me, since whenever I drove through those same checkpoints I had never had to so much as roll down my window. (Which was convenient, since our bullet-resistant windows didn’t actually roll down.)

    But I digress . . .

    I don’t remember the names of most of the NGOs whose reps visited us, which is too bad, since I would happily rub their names in the mud if I could. But we did have a rep from Save the Children. At some point after the introductions, I said to him, “So, ‘Save the Children’. What are you guys doing to keep the Afghans from buggering little boys?”

    To my surprise, the answer wasn’t dumb looks. StC did in fact have programs of engaging people, and especially community and religious leaders, on this problem. The rep even told me something that I didn’t know: some 60% of boys in Afghanistan are raped.

    We got to talk quite a while about this, but in keeping with the point of your post, what got me was the reaction to my question by the other reps present. It wasn’t just that they didn’t seem to know anything about pederasty in the country they were supposed to be servicing, let alone have any programs to fight it. It was that, confronted with the facts of the matter, their first reaction was . . .

    . . . to laugh.

    And the reaction didn’t really get any better. They were kind of captive to our conversation (most of it took place in line at the ISAF security check) but mostly stood there in embarrassed silence. But when the StC guy mentioned the 60% number, a woman rep said, “Well, that’s an interesting factoid,” in a tone of voice that said, no, it really wasn’t.

    B@stards. Come the revolution, when we put these NGO internationalists against a wall, this will be one of the reasons.

    But . . . Save the Children. They do good work.

  19. trumwill says:

    As more cities develop their downtowns and improve their transit networks, walking and using the train become easier.

    Downtowns have improved somewhat, but I don’t think they have done so meaningfully when juxtaposed with increasing sprawl. The same for transit networks, which don’t seem to be keeping up with growth (and are, in some cases, contracting for the sake of toy trains…).

  20. trumwill says:

    Phi, I’ll have to remember that about Save the Children. The role of the NGO’s in the article linked to above is more than a little aggravating, bordering on outrageous. There seems to be a real fear that we will take crimes against victims with penises seriously.

    As far as the disinterest in your statistic, I wonder if they were just internally doubting it. Or if they thought it was just a cultural/consensual thing. Neither of these explanations make them look any better, of course. These seem to be the statistics that they should know (unless they’re involved in something having nothing to do with sexual exploitation), and if cultural norms are not sufficient for sex with girls, they should hardly be so for boys. Unless, of course, we are outraged at the girls and just assume that the boys want it.

    If nothing else, a generation down the line, abuse creates sexual predators. There are no guarantees that the next generation will limit their abuse to boys. So even if we only care about girls, it seems we are ill-served by ignoring what’s happening to the boys.

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