Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Link Log for March 17

Today's Categories: Animals, Charity, Crafts, Economic Indicator, Education, Irish Things, Old News, Philosophy, Scams, Technology, Travel, Welfare State. (Should "Welfare State" be classified under "Scams"?)


A dog's life in Russia...


Animals get bored when they have to spend all their time in human homes. Sometimes they misbehave just because they're bored. Of course, animals who have to spend all their time in the yard can get bored too...dogs and cats (and some chickens and some other birds) make good pets because many of them find their humans interesting. They're less bored, and less naughty, when they can follow us around and interact with us, at least part of each day.


Years ago, I posted an article on AC about doing needlework with the surplus fur dogs and cats start to shed at this time of year, steering readers to the book Knitting with Dog Hair. Some people at AC hated it; they confused the idea of combing and trimming an animal's coat, which many living dogs and cats like to have us do, with the idea of killing an animal to steal its skin and fur and all, which of course this web site recommends only in the case of bears. But, seriously...even short-haired animals are about to release masses of surplus hairs in the next few weeks. Most of that hair will end up in landfills, or clogging lint traps. Animals who've bonded with humans, however, actually like to scent-mark their humans and are delighted when their humans knit, weave, or embroider a bit of their fur into a garment. (Just a bit, in a winter garment. Dog and cat hair makes super-warm yarn.)



Another child with cancer seeks help...



Jil Eaton is raffling off a cute learn-to-knit package...


Economic Indicator 

The U.S. economy may be down, but Americans can still think of bizarre ways to spend surplus money...



Academic standards can certainly be set higher than Common Core's...but is that what Arne Duncan had in mind?


Drug education...tends to leave out drug-freedom. Although alcohol and marijuana weren't allowed in our home, I grew up watching my father smoke tobacco, yes. And watching him try to quit every few years. And watching my big, strong, tough Drill Sergeant Dad develop emphysema and seem "older" at fifty than some of his smoke-free aunts and uncles were at eighty. I think the effect was like watching school friends become welfare mothers, or watching my best college friend use LSD. I think being 100% drug-free is something to celebrate and sing, whether you've ever been addicted or not.


Social education...


Irish Things 

Cute story...


Corned beef and cabbage? Bacon and cabbage? Potatoes and cabbage? Just plain cabbage? Any of these could be considered Irish.


Do you believe in magic? Leprechauns and fairies and boggarts and suchlike? I believe most things ascribed to such causes have always had natural explanations, not always understood or understandable. We can't prove that nothing is magical (or miraculous or paranormal) but I'm one of the people who always look for the natural, logical explanation. What party-poopers we are.


Thanks to Allen West for sharing this, even though it opened an obnoxious pop-up ad (I didn't really read it--I let the swat-that-fly reflex take over--but it featured a word that rhymes with "Niagara").


Old News 

This web site discussed long ago the fact, reported to me in the early 1990s, that some people's reactions to artificially sweetened "diet" foods and drinks may cause them to gain weight rather than lose weight. What Liz Klimas is reporting here is a more recent study suggesting that people who don't immediately recognize themselves in this category may gradually move into it over the years...because, on average, regular drinkers of diet soda seem to be fatter than those who drink sugary soda or fruit juice. (Apologies: The Blaze works a little better for me than similar ad-cluttered sites, I think because I get it through a Google feed rather than through Yahoo e-mail; depending on which browser you use, you may want to avoid Blaze links. This web site promises never to hide a Blaze link. If you have computer problems with this site, you will be able to recognize Blaze links and not click on them.)



Interesting thoughts, anyway...



"Content farms" that pay writers are one thing...here's a short list of "content farms" that steal content that's been published elsewhere.



Renting a car? Demand that it be 100% camera-free.


Cool model gadget.



Good luck finding a decent laundromat these days...


Welfare State 

Seems the U.S. Social Security Administration is taking a tip from a well-established traditional scam in India: If money is due to a certain person, but you don't want to send it or don't want someone else to send it, simply file a report that the person is dead. One more reason why I'm not waiting for any Social Security pension. (Though frankly I'm amazed that the system didn't collapse thirty years ago.)