Monthly Archives: December 2015

catowlDenmark is trying to seize jewelry and cash from refugees.

Turns out, it’s good to marry the daughter of the king.

As economic dreams fade, Chinese workers are fighting back. I wish them luck.

This reminds me that I need to go back and watch Spaceballs again at some point.

Women may have the reputation for being attracted to bad boys, but men like their nonconformists, too.

Tanya Lewis explains why the dating scene is pretty bad for women right now.

Assortive mating is on the rise, returning to Gilded Age levels.

The Bank of Canada would like to ask you to kindly stop spocking currency.

The life-saving potential of urine-powered socks.

Austrians want a border fence. (Which makes a lot more sense than how I originally read it, leaving me wondering what a border fence could provide that the Pacific Ocean couldn’t…)

Micah Singleton says Apple took too long to get into music streaming. They’re not hitting their user targets, but it seems to me that’s always been secondary to Apple compared to making money. Which, since they charge for their service, I assume they are.

Here’s an interesting profile of a serial killer hunter.

Noah Smith says the golden age of college may be coming to a close.

Category: Newsroom

An interesting video on misheard lyrics:

I remember the days before the Internet when you couldn’t just look lyrics up. One of the advantages to buying a CD was when you got the lyrics in the sleeve. I also remember the disappointment of buying a CD only to discover that there were no lyrics in the sleeve.

A result of that is that wrong lyrics would become etched into your brain, to the point that hearing the right lyrics makes it wrong. Indeed, sometimes I prefer the wrong lyric. When They Might Be Giants sang “Everybody dies twisted inside and that is beautiful” I thought that was a great line. Everybody dying “frustrated and sad” is… okay. I guess.

Explaining pre-Internet existence to Lain is going to be really, really difficult.

Category: Theater
Okay, this picture beats my old picture.

Okay, this picture beats my old picture.

Lisa Ruddick writes about When Nothing Is Cool because everything must be Criticized.

Sigal Alon argues that diversity destroyed affirmative action at The Nation.

Our circadian rhythms may be set by light, but for bachteria it’s metabolism. has a solid list of science myths that won’t die.

The story of a rape accusation recanted… that turned out to be true. Then the story of an expelled alleged rapist who was more likely the victim of rape.

Well, in Texas‘ defense, they probably also have the most roadway on which speed traps can be found. Even so, South plus a lot of municipalities plus counless layers of law enforcement make for a bad combination for motorists.

The insistence on self-driving vehicles following the law are exposing a fault-line between how drivers driver and how they’re theoretically supposed to.

Margaret Atwood is writing a comic book.

CNN has a good profile of Muslims in America. Fun Fact: The first mosque was in Ross, North Dakota. {Related}

When it comes to pushing for looser immigrant worker visas, Corporate America really is its own worst enemy. Fortunately for them, they will win out because we all know who opposes immigration.

Woodrow Wilson wasn’t racist despite being a progressive. The two were related.

As Japan avoids a recession, Scott Sumner is declaring Abenomics a success against his expectations.

Category: Newsroom

gainweight“[T]hese reports do help us see the way our journalists can see one glass half full, while the other glass is disastrously half empty. These reports can help us puzzle over the way journalistic frameworks are used.”

Megan McArdle says that Jessica Jones cheated at feminism and wonders whether we can have kick-ass women who aren’t just guys with different parts.

Erik Root gives an account of how West Liberty University is divested itself of conservatives.

Tiny Fey doesn’t seem to understand that the Vox is not finished talking to her about comedy and political correctedness.

As Japan avoids a recession, Scott Sumner is declaring Abenomics a success against his expectations.

Heaven help us: The Snake People are now the largest generational voting bloc. Ah, well, at least they support gun rights.

At the New Reform Club, Seth Barrett Tillman asks an interesting question of justice, crime, and citizenship.

When democracy is a “situation.”

Of course the British are figuring out how to arm a British astronaut with tea.

Howard University may sell its public TV spectrum. Southern Tech’s is basically a husk for PBS. Which is fine for TV, though I’m kind of bummed that there is no campus radio network.

Barton Swaim, of The Speechwriter fame, writes The Perfect Republican Stump Speech.

Hate crime hoaxes are not just an American thing (or a leftist one). A teacher who alleged a Daesch school attack invented it, it turns out.

Walmart is suing Puerto Rico over a tax targeted in their general direction.

Vadim Nikitm wants us to give Daesh diplomatic recognition. I sort of imagine “The new ambassador would like to meet with your diplomatic team about your beheading of the previous ambassador…”

Ted Galen Carpenter says that the Daesch threat is not a 1938 thing, but rather anarchoterrorism from the 19th century. As others have pointed out, given the government’s response at the time, this is a mixed bag for CATO.

A video I must start making use of:

Category: Newsroom


It may seem like I oppose any and all regulation of cigarettes and ecigarettes, but I think this is actually a pretty good use of anti-tobacco energy. Better tax increases, which are probably ineffective, and deceptively named “plain packaging laws” that are repugnant whether effective of not.

While the US continues to go off its rocker on the subject, David Cameron sees ecigarettes as a legitimate path to cessation and an NHS Board has reversed a previous decision to ban ecigarettes on hospital grounds.

In the UK, young people are experimenting with ecigarettes, but non-smokers aren’t regularly using, and according to a survey in the US, American teen users are avoiding nicotine. (Yeah, I’m a bit skeptical on the latter one, but hopeful!)

Coffee reorganizes the brain! Quick! Regulate it! I’ll bet the flavoring they put in it is just to addict children.

This post on the continued strength of piracy makes the faulty assumption that everything pirated should be purchased, but otherwise makes a pretty good point about streaming not being an especially good defense by content-producers against it.

Forensics looks at the link between racial hate crimes and Internet access in the early last decade.

I cannot overstate my complete and total lack of surprise that Japan’s idol industry is sexually coercive. Not entirely unrelated.

Wil Wheaton thinks writers should be paid. I think for Wil Wheaton, that is a good point. Also, Harlan Ellison. The “unique platform” provides more for some than others.

The little cabinet department that could, and did, and almost never found reason to stop doing anything.

I, too, lament the end of the custom of children referring to adults by Mr and Mrs, but that ship has sailed. {A cackling response}

Finland’s schooling sounds almost like unschooling at times, compared to our increasingly rigid regimen.

The TV show Friends is allegedly having a resurgence among New York youngsters.

Category: Newsroom


US News reports on the urban/rural divide on guns. A lot of the interstate comparisons rely a lot on suicide rates. Which is not typically how it is portrayed. There is a similar disconnect on car deaths versus gun deaths.

Many laughs were had at the folks in North Carolina who objected to a solar energy installation for fear it would “suck up all the energy from the sun,” and it’s a pretty ridiculous argument. Dollars to donuts, though, it’s a NIMBY thing and they aren’t well-versed in the NIMBY lingo.

The GAO is accusing the EPA of covertly propagandizing the Clean Water Rule. The CWR got a lot of attention in Arapaho. Uniformly negative, which of course lead to some to wonder why westerners don’t want clean water.

The last of Britain’s coal pits have been shut down.

Monica Potts writes about the downsides to regional economic success, of course referring to pricing out existing residents. If San Francisco wants to help subsidize these folks, I can’t really object so long as they’re not just passing the bill on to landlords. Or asking people everywhere else to help people live in the most expensive part of the country.

Newish mother Bethany Mandel used to like SVU, but can’t really get into it like she used to. I’ve found that being a father has changed the way that I see a lot of TV programs. At some point there will be a post about it.

Are Michael Bay and the CIA conspiring? The comment about one of the Transformers movies being a critique of Obama is interesting. I’d heard it before, but I thought it was one of those cases of conservatives trying to find redemption where they can.

It turns out, legalizing pot leads to more pot-related hospitalizations.

The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at how student loans are subsidizing college athletics programs and its arms race.

Bethany Mandel looks at a study purporting to find that religious kids are less altruistic, and finds it lacking. {More}

How uncharitable is it of me to read this piece as a long, eloquent statement that “I love living in California and hate that other people are ruining it by living here, too.”?

Jason Russell writes of how charter schools may be helping Hispanic kids assimilate.

Category: Newsroom

You never know how much truth there is to a story like this:

Nothing can deter Tim Tebow from his very public vow of chastity-not even a former Miss Universe.

According to New York Daily News, the Mile-High Messiah has been ditched by his girlfriend of late, the perilously alluring Olivia Culpo. While most men would kill for a shot in the dark with the 2012 Miss Universe, Tebow wasn’t fazed.

Sources say that he stuck to his guns and refused advances made by Culpo, whose taut physique and stunning face are apparently no match for the glory of abstinence. The sultry pageant winner called it quits after two months, when she realized she was fighting an unwinnable battle.

One can easily imagine that these sources are from Tebow’s PR department. He has a lot invested in his religiosity. Or it could, you know, be true. Even before I read it in the (lefty-left) comment section of Unfogged, I said to myself “I’ll bet people think he’s gay.”

Now, as a general thing, people do choose to be virgins until they’re married. Among the highly religious, as many as one in five do, compared to 3% of the general populace. Of course, many will dismiss that as a bunch of losers who couldn’t get laid if they wanted to. Whatever else one might say about him, Tebow has opportunity. To the point that if he’s not actually having sex, he’s paying an opportunity cost far in excess to the average person. So he must be running a con, right?

My guess is not. Or, if he has had sex, he is being really sparing about it. Because otherwise… I suspect we would have heard about it. Some woman somewhere along the way who felt more jilted than interested in protecting her reputation would have spilled the beans.

That was my take on AC Green, too, when that was a story. It takes a lot of gumption to loudly proclaim your virginity when there are people out there who know different.

To the extent that it is true, it’s hard not to admire his restraint. And there are reasons to wait even apart from religiosity. But it does seem to take some pretty strong religion. And even then, most fail.

Category: Theater

awwwwAs we expand H2B visas, maybe we should consider helping relocate people to these sorts of opportunities?

The Alabama Supreme Court has declared void an adoption by a Lesbian couple. Unsurprisingly, this is going to the Supreme Court.

It’s unfortunate that this Kurt Schlichter piece is so hyperbolic and antagonistic, because underneath the tone is a really good point about the difficulty involved in any gun confiscation. As with unauthorized immigrants, it’s harder to take action when you consider when you consider what would have to be done. Of course, with guns, it becomes a lot easier with a registry.

Women who were fired for being pregnant scored a victory in the courts, though something of a modest one. Meanwhile, an MP in Britain is in trouble for threatening to fire a staff member for taking leave.

It’s hard to monetize being famous on the Internet, because people don’t want to pay for stuff and resent advertisements.

Rachel Lu argues that we no longer see children as regular people, and wonders when we might do so again.

Seattle’s rental market is weakening.

Meet the most bored prisoner in the world.

Gabrielle Glaser takes aim at Alcoholics Anonymous. I hear mixed things about its effectiveness, but I assume regardless it will endure because it makes for good television so it will probably always have popular culture at its back.

According to a new study, if we don’t want young people to smoke, we shouldn’t prohibit youth vaping. I’m… not quite on board with this (supporting an age limit), for what may just be kneejerk reasons or the internalized virtue of the compromise. Also, considering the ethics of ecigarette bans.

Steven Horwitz writes of the fragility of children… a hundred years ago.

Gothamists looks at the Bushwick Polyamory House.

Category: Newsroom

Mr President, I know you're hard headed, but you'll never push the building with your cranium. Use your arms like Uncle Joe.

Mr President, I know you’re hard headed, but you’ll never push the building with your cranium. Use your arms like Uncle Joe.

I don’t know, this just doesn’t look accidental to me. At all.

The Facebook declaration by San Bernadino shooter Tashfeen Malik turned out to be mythical, but the prohibition on reading social media posts is in place and it’s honestly rather hard to defend.

Some want Scalia impeached for it, but John McWhorter says that he had a point about affirmative action and mismatch (at least, in certain disciplines). Meanwhile, Sigal Alon at The Nation argues that diversity destroyed affirmative action.

Vox Monday: Crap! Republicans and Democrats think that political identity is fair game for hatred! Vox Thursday: Science demonstrates conservatives buy into conspiracy theories because they’re paranoid cranks!

Ramesh Ponnuru looks at the selective accountability of heated rhetoric and violence.

In the new economy, extreme fiscal responsibility apparently makes you a pitiable asshole.

When it comes to pushing for looser immigrant worker visas, Corporate America really is its own worst enemy. Fortunately for them, they will win out because we all know who opposes immigration.

Woodrow Wilson wasn’t racist despite being a progressive. The two were related.

Donald Trump may have been helped rather than hurt by his Muslim comments. His approvals went up… among Democrats.

Speaking of polls, that one about Agrabah was kind of stacked. Be that as it may, it was successful both in partisan advance and in getting everyone talking about PPP. I expect to see more of this sort of thing.

An anti-war site formerly associated with Jeremy Corbyn is taking a lot of heat for some incendiary articles, including the appearance of: Blaming the west for Paris, praising Daesh’s internationalism, and making an exception of their “no war” policy when it comes to Israel.

Once upon a time, gun control advocates commanded a popular majority. So what happened? Well, tactics and the political map changed. Also, even though the perception of crime is that it’s gotten worse, perhaps the lower crime rates have been internalized to some extent. Whatever the case, people are opposed to the Assault Weapons Ban for the first time in polling history.

This doesn’t sound like a bad deal for a lot of people: Taste whisky… for science!

YouGov looks at what went wrong with the UK election polling, determining that 2/3 of it was expecting energetic young people to actually vote.

A former Romney staffer decided to “troll” a Trump-based focus book, and was pretty stunned and dispirited at what he found. Nate Silver says Trump won’t fade until his coverage does.

Category: Newsroom