It’s like this:
I wonder what happened to the camera?
It’s like this:
I wonder what happened to the camera?
In a .gif:
This many drivers can be transported in a streetcar. That’s a lot of emissions avoided. (Via the Atlantic.)
… This is what America is going to look like (via National Geographic):
The good news is we lose Florida. The bad news is we lose New York City.
So depending on your view, the consensus should be, “DON’T LET THE POLAR ICE CAPS MELT!!”
I kind of lost track that we were supposed to change clocks yesterday. Fortunately, in the tech world we now live in, our gadgets change time automatically. So when I woke up expecting it to be 8:30, it was actually 7:30.
But why do we do this anyway?
In other words, we don’t know why.
I traveled from Washington to Louisville to participate in the three-day St. James Court Art Show. Things were pretty odd in Washington the past couple of weeks (A mass shooting, a psychotic driver, a human torch on the Mall, and the Republican shutdown of the government), so I wanted to get away to do something fun.
Organizers shut down the St. James Court Art Show an hour early on Saturday and called off today’s final day because of heavy rain and the threat of thundershowers — cutting the popular event short for the first time in 57 years.
“You have to think about safety. Lightning and metal poles don’t mix,” said Bette Kennedy, volunteer coordinator for the show. “It’s just really, really sad.”
The show was one of at least three local events washed out by the rain. Also canceled was the Hosparus Lunar 5K, which had been scheduled to take place Saturday evening starting at the New Albany (Ind.) Riverfront Amphitheater, and the Big Rock Jazz and Blues Fest, which had been scheduled for today in Cherokee Park.
Unbelievable. But it rained all day Sunday. Parts of Louisville were flooded and at least a dozen people had to be rescued from the water. And it was totally soaked around my house, where some of the art show takes place.
And it really sucked for the artists. They came from all over the country because the show draws hundreds of thousands of people during the three-day period. More than 700 booths were set up, and occupied, with all kinds of art: painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, jewelry.
Tile painters, who were set up in front of my house, had driven all the way from New Mexico. Jade sculptors, who were also located in front of my house, were about to break down their tent when a last minute buyer showed up. And hour later, they had sold $5,000 worth of jewelry. Can you imagine how much more they would have made if they had another day to work with?
What a letdown. I wanted to hear the artists’ stories and my door was open to anyone who wanted to come in (and a bunch did). Instead, I was stuck indoors on Sunday, no art show outside.
Don’t know how long this link is going to be active, but the Web site for the movie “World War Z” has a Survival Challenge to help you plan for the event of a zombie apocalypse. And the information is extremely useful for your run of the mill disaster situations. Like this:
Take the challenge here.
There’s an odd demographic health issue currently plaguing America. Poor white women who haven’t completed high school have seen a significant reduction in their life expectancy.
According to an article in the American Prospect by Monica Potts titled “What’s Killing Poor White Women“:
These women can now expect to die five years earlier than the generation before them. It is an unheard-of drop for a wealthy country in the age of modern medicine. Throughout history, technological and scientific innovation have put death off longer and longer, but the benefits of those advances have not been shared equally, especially across the race and class divides that characterize 21st–century America. Lack of access to education, medical care, good wages, and healthy food isn’t just leaving the worst-off Americans behind. It’s killing them.
The journal Health Affairs reported the five-year drop last August. The article’s lead author, Jay Olshansky, who studies human longevity at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a team of researchers looked at death rates for different groups from 1990 to 2008. White men without high-school diplomas had lost three years of life expectancy, but it was the decline for women like Crystal that made the study news. Previous studies had shown that the least-educated whites began dying younger in the 2000s, but only by about a year. Olshansky and his colleagues did something the other studies hadn’t: They isolated high-school dropouts and measured their outcomes instead of lumping them in with high-school graduates who did not go to college.
The last time researchers found a change of this magnitude, Russian men had lost seven years after the fall of the Soviet Union, when they began drinking more and taking on other risky behaviors.
The article focuses on the death of a 38-year-old diabetic in Arkansas, but notes that she was part of a growing segment of the population who have to deal with poverty, inadequate health care and a lack of education: Factors, when combined, are significantly shortening the lifespan of this specific group of Americans. And the region of the country they live in is a factor:
The researchers colored the counties with an increase in female mortality a bright red, and the red splashed over Appalachia, down through Kentucky and Tennessee, north of the Cotton Belt, and across the Ozarks—the parts of the South where poor white people live. Location seemed to matter more than other indicators, like drug use, which has been waning. The Wisconsin researchers recommended more studies examining “cultural, political, or religious factors.”
Something less tangible, it seems, is shaping the lives of white women in the South, beyond what science can measure. Surely these forces weigh on black women, too, but perhaps they are more likely to have stronger networks of other women. Perhaps after centuries of slavery and Jim Crow, black women are more likely to feel like they’re on an upward trajectory. Perhaps they have more control relative to the men in their communities. In low-income white communities of the South, it is still women who are responsible for the home and for raising children, but increasingly they are also raising their husbands. A husband is a burden and an occasional heartache rather than a helpmate, but one women are told they cannot do without. More and more, data show that poor women are working the hardest and earning the most in their families but can’t take the credit for being the breadwinners. Women do the emotional work for their families, while men reap the most benefits from marriage. The rural South is a place that often wants to remain unchanged from the 1950s and 1960s, and its women are now dying as if they lived in that era, too.
This isn’t something that’s just been discovered, though. In June 2011, I posted an item on the shift in life expectancy among American women that included this map:
But at the time, the report didn’t specify that the trend specifically involved uneducated poor white females.
Part obituary and part medical journal, the American Prospect article digs deep into the problem facing poor people in rural America. It’s a fascinating read.
As anyone who uses the Google search engine knows, when you start to type out a question, you’ll immediately get a dropdown of questions that begin with the same wording. That’s called autocomplete.
So many questions are asked on Google, that the database immediately draws up the most frequently asked ones using that phrasing, assuming that chances are since everyone else is asking them, you’re asking the same thing.
It’s a good indication of the state of mind of the world. When so many people are asking the same question, that’s a sociological trend.
A few days before I saw this cartoon on XKDC (click on it for a larger image), I was experimenting with Google’s autocomplete function and wondering what would come up when the focus involved families.
It is not encouraging.
Just go to Google, type in the following terms and see what pops up:
Why does my father
Why does my mother
Why does my husband
Why does my wife
Why does my sister
Why does my brother
Why does my son
Why does my daughter
Why does my aunt
Why does my uncle
The only family situation in autocomplete that didn’t repulse me was:
Why does my grandfather
Have a go at it. You’ll be surprised, and depressed, by the results.
There are a lot of unhappy families out there.
You can never overestimate where the level of stupidity of an uninformed population will take you:
According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 29 percent of Louisiana Republicans say President Obama is more to blame for the botched executive branch response to Hurricane Katrina while just 28 percent blamed George W. Bush. A plurality of 44 percent said they were unsure who was more responsible, even though Hurricane Katrina occurred over three years before Obama entered the presidency when he was still a freshman Senator.
Here’s the poll:
So, 73 percent of Louisiana Republicans don’t know that George Bush (the Dumber) was president when Hurricane Katrina wiped out their state but either “know or suspect” President Obama didn’t respond fast enough to the disaster.
This really isn’t a multiple choice question.
And as we dig deeper into the numbers, we see that 8 percent of Louisiana Republicans want Sen. Ted Cruz (R – O, Canada) as their presidential nominee, but the plurality is pushing for Kentucky’s Rand Paul to take the White House. Good luck with that.
It’s almost unfair to throw a trick question like “Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?” into a political poll, but, given the response here, it is essential for people to see the total disconnection from reality of the followers of one of the major political parties and understand whom they want to run the country after 2016.
Sometimes, you’ve gotta wonder about Texas:
Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.
Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified.
The state of Gov. Rick “Remember My Name Because I Don’t” Perry unloaded a swat team against an organic farm because its grass was too tall? Texas thinks this is worth regulating, but it won’t regulate this?
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the deadly explosion. He said that he remains comfortable with the state’s level of oversight and suggested that most Texas residents agree with him.
People “through their elected officials clearly send the message of their comfort with the amount of oversight,” he said.
Now obviously, the brain trust in Texas saw organic farm, thought “Hippies,” and came up with “They must be growing pot.” Except “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers” are not pot. But even if there was weed amid the acreage, a burning field of marijuana, at worst, gives everyone a contact high. A burning fertilizer plant explodes and kills more than a dozen people and leave a bunch more injured.
So which one does Texas feel is the bigger threat to the population. Organic farms.