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General

Worst tweet of the day

Posted October 19, 2019 by Anonymous

Two days to go, and we may well have a winner for worst media tweet of this election.  

Here it is, from CBC’s Rosemary Barton, along with my somewhat snarky reply:

Rosemary I did not realize there were 1000s of activist Canadians who were just waiting for election of a Liberal govt with a compliant leader so they could pass private members bills to raise the GST. Quel suprise!

— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 (@CathieCanada) October 19, 2019

For one thing, these issues are not comparable in the least. Accusing the Liberals of wanting to raise the GST is a completely baseless and out-of-the-blue lie of desperation from Andrew Scheer.  Accusing Conservatives of wanting to criminalize abortion recognizes that this is exactly what thousands of Canadian “right to life” activists want Scheer to do.  While Harper didn’t knuckle under to these elements, I believe it is now a serious risk considering Scheer’s base of support and the types of CPC candidates he has recruited.  He doesn’t even need to pass an abortion law at the federal level as such; rather, he could just pass a private members bill permitting provincial legislatures to decide whether to allow abortions and under what conditions, thus creating a patchwork mess across the country.
It surprises me that Barton doesn’t appear to understand the difference at all.  But the hundreds of comments about this tweet show that Canadians understand it very well.
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General

Edmonton ❤ Greta

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Here are some photos of  Climate Change/Greta Thunberg rally in Edmonton.  

Climate Justice Edmonton says there were 10,000 at the rally.
I guess United We Roll was there too with counter-protestors in trucks, but they aren’t visible in these photos:

I don’t think the counter-protestors are playing a winning hand.  Here’s a tweet that sort of sums it up:

— Handmaids For Kenney (@HandmaidAlberta) October 18, 2019

And apparently Kenny’s office blocked his windows so he didn’t have to see what is going on.  Sorta prophetic, don’t you think — climate change deniers don’t want to see what is going on in the world.  There are none so blind as those who will not see.

⁦.⁦@jkenney⁩ Premier’s Office blocks all the windows while tens of thousands of youth in front of the Legislature want to send him a message. Closed minds. Closed windows. #ableg #cdnpoli #EarPlugs pic.twitter.com/NJrdtGRpRO

— Thomas A. Lukaszuk (@LukaszukAB) October 18, 2019

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General

23andMe Wants Everyone to Get Used to Sharing Their Genetic Data

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

It’s increasingly complicated to untangle the potential for public health advances from a moralistic marketing scheme.

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General

Meghan Markle and the racist British press

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

I knew the British tabloids were racist, but I had no idea how cruel they had been throughout Meghan Markle’s pregnancy.  I guess there is a documentary being done about it, and here is an excerpt:

Jesus. This just broke my heart. pic.twitter.com/13KsROklv9

— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) October 18, 2019

#WeLoveYouMeghan is trending today on Twitter. And its about time. Here is some of the garbage that has been selling newspapers in Britain. It reminds me of some of the crap that Michelle Obama had to put up with:
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And for comparison purposes, here is how they covered Kate Middleton or other celebrities, compared to exactly the same stories about Meghan Markle.
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General

Will the Public End up Paying to Clean up the Fracking Boom?

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous
Pumpjacks

Read time: 8 mins

Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.

It’s starting to become out of control, and we want to rein this in,” Bruce Hicks, Assistant Director of the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, said in August about companies abandoning oil and gas wells. If North Dakota’s regulators, some of the most industry-friendly in the country, are sounding the alarm, then that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the nation.

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General

Autocorrect Is For Cowards

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Once you open your mind to the possibilities that a life without autocorrect brings, I promise you won’t miss the safety net.

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General

The Shoot-Out Over Chapo’s Son Is a Major ‘Clusterfuck’ for Mexico’s President

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

“This defeat is going to be very costly for López Obrador and will probably result in the resignation of his security secretary”

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General

El Chapo’s Son Was Captured — Then Freed After the Cartel Attacked

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

The Sinaloa cartel leader’s son was detained by the Mexican military but released amid a shootout.

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Film

‘Pulp Fiction’ Is Best Understood Through Its Obsession With Fast Food

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

From the Big Kahuna burger to the $5 milkshake, Tarantino’s 25-year-old classic is a bona fide buffet of smart but accessible filmmaking.

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General

Everything We Know About El Chapo’s Sons, ‘Los Chapitos’

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

At least four are said to be key players in the family business — and they’re continuously staving off challenges to their power.

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General

Parents Can Now Force Teens to Get Mental Health Help in Washington State

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

“I’d much rather have a resistant, alive youth than a dead one.”

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General

Elijah Cummings’ Death Isn’t Just An Emotional Blow. It Leaves a Giant Void for Democrats on Impeachment.

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

“What makes this such a big blow is that there is just no replacement for Elijah Cummings,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez told VICE News Friday morning.

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Film

Taika Waititi Is Disappointed He Had to Make a Movie Reminding People Nazis are Bad

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

The ‘Jojo Rabbit’ director talked to VICE about the supreme shame and embarrassment of dressing up as Hitler.

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General

Classic: Trump Interrupts First All-Women Spacewalk to Get His Facts Wrong

Posted October 18, 2019 by Becky Ferreira

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir corrected the President, who seemed to think this was the first time women had ever performed a spacewalk, while making history.

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General

Understanding the Anthropocene extinction, regenerating cartilage, autism and touch, a prosthetic that feels and where’s my Lyme vaccine?

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth; Could we prevent arthritis by regenerating cartilage?; Building a better cyborg leg — adding a sense of touch to artificial limbs; People with autism might be suffering from an oversensitivity to touch; Why isn’t there a Lyme disease vaccine for humans?

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General

RCGS celebrates Indigenous languages with National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Wade Davis

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

The Indigenous language discussion between National Chief Perry Bellegarde (centre) and Wade Davis (right), moderated by Charlene Bearhead, was held last night at 50 Sussex in Ottawa. (Photo: Ben Powless/Canadian Geographic)

“Language is your identity.”

So began remarks by Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, at an event with renowned anthropologist and author Wade Davis held Oct. 17 at 50 Sussex in Ottawa, located on the unceded territory of the Algonquin and Anishinabek Peoples.

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General

Liberal minority govt predicted

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Forum Research predicts Liberal minority govt — Liberal 133 seats, Conservative 121, NDP 46, BQ 37, Green 1.
FYI, Forum was the only pollster 2015 to correctly predict the Lib Majority, so I am going to hope that their prediction is good this time, too.
What is will come down to, as it always does, is whether the Liberals can get their vote out.
 Here’s two threads from Ed the Sock – one about Trudeau, and one about Scheer. Iits worthwhile reading the whole thing:

I’m voting #Liberal & #IStandwithTrudeau. Not because he’s perfect but because he tries & his govt has been good for Canada. You make your own choice. But if you want to know who JT is from someone who’s actually known him (received not a single perk or benefit), I just told you.

— Ed the Sock (@EdtheSock) October 15, 2019

No matter the outcome Monday I will never forgive #Scheer, #HamishMarshall & their cadre who have acted like pondscum, knowing they had nothing of substance – ir they couldn’t hit the #Libs on economic record – they opted for a very American campaign of unrelenting lies

— Ed the Sock (@EdtheSock) October 17, 2019

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General

#392 Catching the ice cream truck as it drives down the street

Posted October 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Candy doesn’t deliver. Since Emperor Nero sent slaves into the mountains for ice to mix with honey and nuts two thousand years ago, we’ve all enjoyed cooling off with big bowls of the sweet and icy treat. Yup, Arabs started adding milk to the mixture a thousand years later, the Chinese invented an ice cream […]

The post #392 Catching the ice cream truck as it drives down the street appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

After Second Deadly Crash, Regulators Say Trucks Leaking Fracked Gas Cargo Are Fine

Posted October 17, 2019 by Anonymous
Virtual pipeline truck crash near Orange, Massachusetts

Read time: 6 mins

Last Friday, October 11, a “Virtual Pipeline” truck carrying compressed natural gas crashed on a highway in Orange, Massachusetts, killing the driver, leaking the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, and leading local authorities to evacuate nearby residents. 

Let me put this in perspective, if one of these trucks blew up in the right conditions, it could destroy a neighborhood,” said Bill Huston, director of a research and advocacy program called Terra Vigilate, and one of a small group of advocates raising awareness about the extreme risks of fire and explosion of Virtual Pipeline trucks. “We have called every state and federal agency, we have called the news media, and nobody is responding. These trucks are a brand-new technology, and nearly entirely unregulated — it’s very frustrating.”

This was the second Virtual Pipeline truck crash within three weeks in which the driver was killed and the special cylinders containing the gas, which can be highly explosive, were compromised. It’s part of a string of accidents that a retired state regulator says indicates the vehicles may be violating a federal exemption allowing the trucks to operate, but which federal regulators have disputed.

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General

Opinion: We Owe Greta and the Youth More Than a Nobel Prize

Posted October 17, 2019 by David Suzuki
Greta Thunberg

Read time: 4 mins

Many people, including me, expected Greta Thunberg to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was deservedly awarded for ending more than 20 years of conflict with neighboring Eritrea.

Greta and the young people worldwide urging adults to care about their future don’t need a Nobel. They need grown-ups to take them seriously and heed the scientific evidence about global warming.

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General

Just a little funny stuff

Posted October 17, 2019 by Anonymous
Make sure you watch to the end:

The Liberals are just a hot mess. #Compromise2019 pic.twitter.com/uJP5MaJrv7

— 22Minutes (@22_Minutes) October 16, 2019

And this one:

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to the inventor of rechargeable batteries. But he doesn’t know it yet because his phone is dead.

— 22Minutes (@22_Minutes) October 15, 2019


And now for something completely different:

– awesome 👍 👏 pic.twitter.com/up8Ur4XmI1

— Köksal Akın (@newworlddd555) October 15, 2019

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General

#393 When you’re finally big enough to ride in the front seat of the car

Posted October 17, 2019 by Anonymous

You waited a long time. Cruising backwards in your baby seat, strapped into your toddler chair, sharing the bench with your little brother on those long drives downtown, you spent years putting up with child locks, bad views, and barf bags. So when you finally get to ride in the front seat you deserve a […]

The post #393 When you’re finally big enough to ride in the front seat of the car appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

Fact-checking the American Petroleum Institute’s New Ads Selling Natural Gas as a Climate Solution

Posted October 16, 2019 by Anonymous
API ad 'We're on it'

Read time: 8 mins

In 1998, the U.S.’s largest oil and gas industry lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), was involved with a communications plan whose goal was promoting “uncertainties in climate science” among the American public. Over 20 years later, their communications plan looks a little different but still needs fact-checking. 

In September, API began running TV, billboard, and social media ads promoting natural gas as a climate solution. “Thanks to natural gas, the U.S. is leading the way in reducing emissions,” the ads claim, and “leading the world in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” But is all of that true?

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General

Revealed: Anglo American Mine Expansion Could Put Chile’s Glaciers and Emissions Goals At Risk

Posted October 16, 2019 by Anonymous
Los Bronces copper mine Chile

Read time: 9 mins

The emissions from a new Anglo American underground mine project in Chile could be catastrophic for the host nation of the next UN climate talks, DeSmog can reveal. The multinational company has so far avoided scrutiny of the project by hollowing out regional environmental organisations and sharing erroneous information with the scientific community.

This project poses a risk to Santiago’s fresh water supply and wilderness areas,” Ezio Costa, the Executive Director of Chilean environmental justice NGO FIMA, told DeSmog about Los Bronces Underground (LBU) expansion project. If it goes ahead, “they would be failing to consider the impact on the global climate system, and risking Chile’s commitments for its protection.”

Anglo American submitted its environmental impact study in July 2019 for the US$3billion project, just 52km from where Chile is preparing to welcome the world to the next annual UN climate talks, known as COP25, in Santiago this December.

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General

#394 When your dad looks under your bed and finds no monsters

Posted October 16, 2019 by Anonymous

There’s something in the dark. Floors creak and doors squeak as furnaces click and ticking clocks tick. Fridges hum and oven burners pop as garage doors close and footsteps flip flop. Sometimes it sounds like there’s a monster hiding deep in the darkness of your room. Blind and alone, scared on your own, your ears […]

The post #394 When your dad looks under your bed and finds no monsters appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

Climate Change and Other Frights: 13 Environmental Books to Scare You Into Action

Posted October 15, 2019 by guest
Covers of books Blowout, Leave It in the Ground, and Kochland

Read time: 5 mins

By John R. Platt, The Revelator.

Horror,” wrote novelist and critic Douglas E. Winter, “is not a genre. It is an emotion.”

You know what else generates some horrifying emotions? Topics like climate change and pollution.

As we approach the Halloween season, let’s dive into those fears with a batch of new books about those most fright-inducing of environmental topics. I’ve selected the 13 scariest (and most informative) environmental books published so far this year, pulled from the recommendations in my monthly “Revelator Reads” column.

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General

Insights on artificial intelligence in the developing world

Posted October 15, 2019 by Anonymous

Stakeholders from across Africa, including T. Idriss Tinto (foreground) of Burkina Faso, gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2019 for a three-day workshop aiming to strengthen the work of artificial intelligence researchers and policy makers. Experts believe AI can help transform societies in developing nations.

Artificial intelligence is transforming societies worldwide. In developing countries, AI’s potential to benefit local economies, healthcare, agriculture, education and other sectors is sparking optimism and investment. Matthew Smith, senior program specialist at the International Development Research Centre and lead author of the 2018 IDRC whitepaper Artificial intelligence and human development.

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General

Real World Self-Selected Intermittent Fasting (IF) Vs. Continuous Energy Restriction (CER) Study Sees 73% of IF and 61% of CER Participants Not Lasting Even 6 Months

Posted October 15, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

So what happens when you offer people with obesity the choice between 5:2 style intermittent fasting (IF) (very-low calories (VLC) 2 days weekly with 5 days of less restricted eating) and more traditional caloric restriction 7 days a week? Would encouraging people to choose between two strategies increase their likelihoods of successful weight management a year later? Would one group lose more weight than the other? Would adherence be the same?

That were the question post-doc RD Rona Antoni and colleagues set out to explore and they recently published a paper discussing their results.

197 patients with obesity presenting to the Rotherham Institute for Obesity were offered the choice between 5:2 IF (630 calories from liquid meal replacements on the VLC days), or an aimed 500 calorie continuous energy restriction (CER) 7 days per week with diet based off that recommended by the UK’s dietary guidelines. Both groups received support from specialist obesity nurses for 6 months and were also asked to return for measurements and discussion at one year. All were also provided with access to, “a variety of specialist facilities, resources and multidisciplinary specialists including exercise and talking therapists“, and all were reviewed in clinic monthly where measurements were taken (weight, total body fat, fat-free mass (FFM), waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and an overnight fasted blood sample) and adherence was discussed.

99 patients chose IF, and 98 chose CER. 6 months later, 73% of IF patients and 61% of CER patients had dropped out. At one year, 83% of IF and 70% of CER patients were lost to follow up.

Of those who quit IF by 6 months, 18% explicitly reported they did so because they could not tolerate the diet, something that none of the CER drop outs reported, other IF drop outs reported they quit due to fainting or hypoglycemia on VLC days.

Regarding completers’ weight losses at 6 months, the IF patients lost a statistically significant, but likely clinically meaningless, 4lbs more than the CER group. All blood measures (including fasting glucose, insulin, hsCRP, and lipids) were found to be the same between groups. Blood pressure changes were also not different between groups.

At one year, the 17 remaining IF patients were found to have regained their lost weight, while the 30 CER patients were found to be maintaining their albeit small amount (3%) of weight loss.

So what to make of this study?

I think the most striking finding was the overall 66% attrition rate across both arms. Certainly this study does not suggest that IF is an easier regime to follow than CER (at least not when provided at the Rotherham Institute for Obesity – given weight management support is a service and not a product, it’s certainly possible that different providers might have seen different outcomes for both arms, but I do think this speaks to the challenge of scalability of behavioural interventions).`But what I really think this study highlights is the fact that the real-world likelihood of purely dietary interventions treating our increasing weights is very low indeed. Instead, we need more tools for treatment (certainly including medications and surgeries), and more importantly, if we’re going to see change, we’re going to need environmental level changes to turn this boat around.

As to whether IF or CER will work for you don’t forget that one person’s horribly restrictive diet is another person’s happy lifestyle. If you’re trying to find your own right road, even if the first road fails, and even if angry diet gurus and zealots try to tell you there’s no other road, keep trying different forks until you find the one that suits you best, as when it comes to diets, adherence is all that matters in the end, and if you don’t like the way you’re living, you’re not likely to keep living that way.

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General

Great Tweet of the Day

Posted October 15, 2019 by Anonymous

Via the inimitable Dick King-Smith – you owe it to yourself to follow his tweets.  Make sure to have the sound on for this one:

Teddy the talking porcupine enjoys an autumnal treat.
Sound on, if you please. pic.twitter.com/PuQmCN3Srv

— Dick King-Smith HQ (@DickKingSmith) October 4, 2019

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General

Commander in Least

Posted October 15, 2019 by Anonymous

I haven’t checked because I don’t want to ruin my amateur standing, but as far as I can remember, the US Constitution gives only one real job to a U.S. President — being Commander in Chief of their armed forces.And for someone who hardly works at all,…

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General

#395 When your taxi driver knows all the secret routes

Posted October 15, 2019 by Anonymous

Bouncing beltless in the backseat you’re zooming down dark streets, slick roads, and slippery lanes. Doesn’t matter if you’re cabbing back from cards, hitting the downtown bars hard, or flying home for a quick recharge. Nope, the only thing that matters is if your cabbie knows the secret sidestreet shortcuts that shave a couple minutes […]

The post #395 When your taxi driver knows all the secret routes appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

Yelling at the Empty Chair

Posted October 14, 2019 by Anonymous

Does anyone still remember that during the Republican Convention in 2012, Clint Eastwood infamously spent 10 minutes yelling at an empty chair, wherein sat an Invisible Obama? Well, just as Eastwood’s Man With No Name represents the American West …

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General

#396 When the hold music is actually surprisingly good

Posted October 14, 2019 by Anonymous

When I was in high school my friend Chad worked at a big-box electronics store down by the lake. He’d put on a shirt, tie, and giant clown-faced grin before selling bubble jet printers and floppy disks on Friday nights. Since the rest of us were hopeless layabouts we’d aimlessly cruise around town sipping Slurpees […]

The post #396 When the hold music is actually surprisingly good appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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General

Why I am voting for Trudeau

Posted October 13, 2019 by Anonymous

Trudeau stands for poverty reduction, international democracy promotion, Indigenous partnership, climate change initiatives and economic development
He also stands for personal courage: 

Why did I vote Liberal? Because Justin Trudeau put on a bulletproof vest, faced a threat on his life and rallied his supporters, while Scheer bailed on a scheduled campaign stop when he saw a dozen teenagers holding protest signs and went for hotdogs instead. #cdnpoli #elxn43

— Vex Murphy (@VexMurphy) October 13, 2019

We didn’t know why we were waiting but we would have waited all night to support Justin Trudeau.

— 🦂🌈Joanne 🌈🦂 (@JoanneCangal) October 13, 2019


And the inimitable Montreal Simon sums it up, as usual:

Just like the bullies couldn’t intimidate me, the Con hate mongers can’t intimidate Justin Trudeau…

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General

Great tweet of the day

Posted October 12, 2019 by Anonymous

Its not from today, its from a while ago, but it is a great one:

This poem never fails to destroy me. It’s one of the reasons I started writing poetry, a billion years ago. pic.twitter.com/P4Db9oMEsB

— Grendel’s Mom 💀 (@ambernoelle) March 3, 2019

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General

Saturday Stories: Jimmy Dorsey’s Generosity, Eating Disorder Recovery, And New Coke

Posted October 12, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

Petula Dvorak, in The Washington Post, with two incredible stories, the first about hunting for one man whose generosity and $80 helped launch an incredible career, and then the story about finding that man – Jimmy Dorsey

Amelia Boone, in Race Ipsa Loquitur, discusses her eating disorder recovery.

Tim Murphy, in Mother Jones, on the murder of New Coke.

        
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General

10 days to go

Posted October 12, 2019 by Anonymous

Ten days to go and I expect we will soon start to see a certain degree of panic among Canadian pundits, as they realize their unrelenting negativity toward Trudeau and their horserace cynicism toward election events and platforms may well lead Canadians toward a Scheer minority government.  

And thus the Trudeau government emphasis on poverty reduction, international democracy promotion, Indigenous partnership, climate change initiatives, and economic development will be finished, over, kaput – to be replaced by YankeeDoodleAndy’s mishmash of inept and contradictory promises to somehow spend more while cutting more  – and if you believe any of that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page isn’t particularly impressed with the Cons’ newly-released budget either:
Page said that closing the tax gap is a worthwhile pursuit, one that all the federal parties are pursuing. He said it was a worthy goal but it hasn’t been tried in Canada on the scale the Conservative are proposing. …”The one thing you don’t do, in any plan, if you’re saying this is about competitiveness and productivity when you are doing this, is go after infrastructure, because its so critical. That truly is an investment.” Page said that economists point to infrastructure spending as a useful tool for boosting a nation’s long-term productivity and growth rates.
“Deficit financing tax cuts? That’s consumption. If you give me a tax cut I will either spend it or I will just deal with my debt issues with that extra few hundred bucks a year. That provides a temporary boost to the economy, whereas infrastructure definitely is the longer term boost.”
Page also said that finding $5 billion in savings from operational expenses would be a challenge — that Harper tried to do it but couldn’t find the savings. He also said that cutting $1.5 billion from the foreign aid budget was doable but it would give Canada a very different personality on the world stage.

 By the way, the Liberals are talking about things that really matter to Canadians, like student loans and pharmacare  and climate change.

 

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General

What you need to know about Inner YouTube and PewDiePie

Posted October 11, 2019 by Anonymous

Fascinating NYT article about PewDiePie, whom I had heard about only because my son knew about him and about the whole new Inner YouTube culture that he represents, sort of.

I started hanging out on Inner YouTube in earnest a few years ago, and its scale and insularity was jarring at first. Imagine a genetic mutation that gave everyone born after 1995 the ability to see ultraviolet light. Imagine that these people developed an identity around UV light, started calling themselves “UVers” and became suspicious of any media product made exclusively on the visible spectrum. As an old person with normal eyes, you would experience this change as a kind of slow cognitive decline. Every day, as more and more of the world played out in UV, you would struggle to catch glimpses of it. All of a sudden, people would be talking about Area 51 or eating Tide Pods, and you’d have no idea why. This deep chasm of understanding between Inner YouTube and the rest of the world has proved to be the defining problem of Kjellberg’s career.

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General

Bye, Felicia

Posted October 11, 2019 by Anonymous

Is that an approaching bus I hear? https://t.co/tyhzlyN3XD

— Joan McCarter (@joanmccarter) October 11, 2019

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General

Canada’s latest Nobel laureate and our election science policy debate

Posted October 11, 2019 by Anonymous

Hear from Canadian-born cosmologist James Peebles about his Nobel Prize; The Quirks & Quarks science and environmental policy debate

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