Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thursday Tidbits

Clearing out my reading file this morning, here is some of what I found.

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A recent paper published in the "Journal of Climate" dealt a setback to climate change contrarians. To support their claims of no or unimportant changes in the planet's climate, these contrarians have pointed to some select regions of the atmosphere that haven't changed much, ignoring all other evidence, i.e., rise in ocean temperatures, rise in Earth's surface temperatures, melting sea ice, and on and on. But the new paper corrects and revises upward the temperatures they have relied on as their evidence. Even in their "select regions" it's getting hotter.

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Of course, Game of Thrones fans know that "Winter is coming," but it didn't come fast enough for the filming of the upcoming season to go off on schedule, and so the season was delayed from its usual beginning in April until July. But Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reported that even that was problematic. He noted the "very sad irony" of filming in locations where it is possible to see that the ice has significantly melted over the seven year run of the series. 

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Conservatives are all about local control, right? Well, that depends on who the locals are. In Texas, as in many Republican controlled states, the big urban areas are likely to be much more diverse and liberal than the state governments can stomach. So, when the cities attempt to regulate what's happening on their turf, often the state governments will come back with laws that override the local control. Austin is experiencing this now, and most large cities in Texas have had similar conflicts.  

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To see this same kind of conflict between cities and national governments, again, we have to look no further than the issue of climate change where a global covenant of the mayors of 7,400 cities have come together to vow that they will work together to meet the goals of Paris accord, regardless of obstructionism from the White House. 

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NASA has officially denied that it is running a colony of child sex slaves on Mars. Really. They took time out of their busy day to deny the story that ran on Alex Jones' "Infowars". I doubt that most of Alex's listeners heard their denial.

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And speaking of bigoted trolls, when they are found out and criticized for their hateful rhetoric, their excuse is always that they were "just doing it for the lulz". They were just doing it to get a reaction. They are not really hateful, bigoted people. But as Amanda Marcotte points out, "...the behavior one displays when unconstrained by consequences is a more authentic representation of the self than the behavior you display when bound by social convention." So when they spew their hate all over everybody on the internet, they are revealing their true selves. 

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Then there is the story of the Afghan girls team that built a robot for an international competition to be held in the United States. The robot will be allowed to enter the country, but two girls on the team were denied visas, even though teams from Iran, Sudan, and a de facto Syrian team were all given visas. 

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The "health care" bill devised by 13 rich old white men and now being considered by the Senate does not contain the word "woman" or "women".

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There is an art to snark. Alexandra Petri hits the nail on the head with her imagined responses by Republicans to the president's string of hateful tweets.

2 comments:

  1. Tidbits eh? I am reeling. I am reading Vol 1 of Robert Caro's LBJ biography. Just at the beginning, reading 10 pp a day along with my other reading. He was born in Texas, as we know, so I am learning a lot about the Hill Country, the hard times, the Populist movement, etc, etc. Also, in The Essex Serpent, finished recently, she refers to veterans from the "Aghan War." The setting is the turn of the 19th century. I was, what? But truly, Great Britain fought three Afghan Wars in that century! Learning history is good. But what really got me in your post was the shrinking ice in the filming area of Game of Thrones. Creepy!!

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    1. We learn history so that we won't repeat its mistakes - at least that's the theory, although it never quite seems to work out that way, does it? LBJ is a hero of my husband. He owns all the hefty volumes of the Caro biography. I salute you for making the effort to read it.

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