Thursday, October 8, 2015

Link Log for October 6-7

Categories: Animals, Bad News Revisited, Books, Censorship, Christians, Citizens Fight Crime, Electricity, Firearms, Food (Yum), Funny, Good News, Muslims, Phenology Links, Politics, Relationships, Relocation, Writing.


Just another kitten and puppy who've bonded...except that in this case the kitten is a cheetah.

This Smithsonian web page has succumbed to tacky advertising techniques, but if you can put up with that, here's how whale songs print out as sheet music.

Bad News Revisited 

I disagree with Elizabeth Barrette about many things, but in this article I think she's almost completely right. Almost, because her suggestions are further-reaching and less workable than mine, which focusses on the problem. But read hers first, please:

Now...people have been unhappy in reasonable ways, and people have had depression-as-symptom-of-disease, for a long time and all over the world, so why did the U.S. school/stranger massacre problem start in the 1980s? Guns don't cause school shootings. Drugs cause school shootings (even though, at Columbine, one of the shooters was drug-free and was following his drugged buddy's lead). This web site doesn't care for the sloppy assumptions in the write-up below about Christopher Harper Mercer's drug use, either about vaccines or about race, but we have to share, anyway, this part of the evidence. People who walk into a school, church, shopping mall, and start shooting strangers, are on drugs. So are people who lock children "safely" inside a car and shove the car into a lake, who jump out of a car at an intersection and drag another driver out of her car and stomp her to death on the median strip, who crash a bus full of unsuspecting tourists into a cement wall, who aim cars directly at other motorists or pedestrians and hammer down on the gas, who use fertilizer to build bombs and blow up day care centers...and terrorist groups have been feeding drugs to those who carry out their attacks for at least a thousand years. Guns are a variable in the equation; drugs are the constant factor--the equation is "(drugs + human = homicidal maniac) x (weapon available to homicidal maniac) = number of victims." Guns are not the weapon that produces the maximum number of victims. And although (illegal) meth is one of the drugs that make people homicidally insane, some of the others are legal as "prescription medications"...and that's why some corporations, and corporate-owned media, prefer to scream hysterically about the guns (when guns were involved) and ignore the real problem.


John Grisham's finished a new novel:


The position of this web site has always been that the Internet is optional, a luxury. All of us need to be and stay prepared to go back to reading and writing without the'Net.


The Pena-Vegas dance to "Amazing Grace"? I'm the sort of liberal Christian who thinks that's sort of cool.

Citizens Fight Crime 

This web site salutes Gerard Gaumond, even if rabid Humanists, attached to the harmful delusion that trespassers have rights, have failed to thank him for allowing a burglar to surrender and survive. He let the burglar squawk and didn't bash his head in? If the burglar has any relatives who prefer to keep him alive, why aren't they kissing Mr. Gaumond's feet?

Another citizen, Mike Hanson, claims to be fighting corruption. Well, this is what the Internet should be good for. Shine the light. Who's really out of order in Gonzales, Texas?


Solar power should be clean, ethical, and cheap. The technology has reached that stage in California and Arizona. In the Eastern States, people understandably feel just a bit less enthusiasm about investing in solar power, because (a) we don't get enough sunshine to make solar power as profitable as it is in the desert states, and (b) we can't afford to add one more hair's breadth of damage to our already endangered roofs. Will greedhead utility companies work out ways to make solar power a rip-off even for farmers who can afford to dedicate whole fields to solar energy harvesting, or will we legislate ways to keep this new industry private, free-market, and thus an overall benefit for everyone? This web site has seen some hopeful signs but Norb Leahy is seeing some bad ones:


For those who use Disqus socially (I don't) and know that I've posted longish comments on Scott Adams' "gun problem" blog post, Kurt Schlichter's observations are apropos:

(Hat tip, here, to the "curmudgeon" commenter who still types "firearms" because the U.S. Army used to discourage the use of "guns" as a generic term by encouraging the use of this word as slang for a part of the male body. It's taken me a while, and some encouragement from a sponsor, to type "guns." Nice to know that I'm not the only one who remembers "This is my rifle, this is my gun...")

Food (Yum) 

Here's a gluten-free recipes site...From Kristina Stosek's point of view it's mostly good, and from John1282's point of view it may be bad, that people who don't suffer from lifelong genetic gluten intolerance or even from temporary wheat allergies think they want to go gluten-free. Because it's trendy--with well-known Irish-Americans from Chelsea Clinton to Bill O'Reilly, and even non-Irish types like Keith Olbermann, publicizing their gluten intolerance, going gluten-free seems like something rich and famous people do? I think readers of this web site know that there are better things to have in common with rich and famous people than their diseases. No. Everybody can enjoy gluten-free meals, and depending on what their eating habits have otherwise been some gluten-tolerant people may be healthier if they learn to cook and eat gluten-free meals. If you're not physically gluten-intolerant, you don't need to commit to a gluten-free diet in order to enjoy gluten-free foods.

What some people don't realize is that most ordinary foods are naturally gluten-free, unless they're bought in canned or pre-packaged forms from manufacturers who try to reduce costs by dumping in wheat products as fillers. Soup doesn't need thickening with flour unless it's been watered down in the first place. Gluten-free recipes for meat and vegetable dishes tend to be simpler, sometimes even quicker and cheaper recipes. Only in recipes for baked goods does "gluten-free" ever mean "more expensive" or "more elaborate" or "harder to find."

Well, the site linked below contains recipes in both categories. Lots of simple, natural main courses; some elaborate, expensive baked goods too.


How to raise your own spaghetti tree.

Anthea Butler may be a tenured professor, but she just nominated and seconded herself for the Idiot of the Year award. (If you embarrassed yourself on Twitter--like a gorgeous movie star I recently discovered there, who developed an unsexy illness and Twittered about it--you can try to delete Tweets people have seen, or you can just back away and leave your embarrassing Tweets showing, but the best strategy is to Tweet a couple of hundred links to things you want to publicize and bury the embarrassing one. Force those who want to focus on your bad idea to scroll down through screen after screen of better things, y con suerte Twitter-hiccups won't even let them get to the Tweet you buried. Duh. A teacher can't figure that out?) I wasn't aware that U Penn was considered "Ivy League," though it is the home of some good teachers who maintain a world-class, informative-and-funny blog...but it needs to lose the embarrassment that is Butler, fer sherr.

Elizabeth Barrette remembers a great comic strip...In "Peanuts" cartoons, Snoopy the silent but intelligent beagle fantasizes that he's a World War I flying ace and his doghouse is a Sopwith Camel fighter plane. That's why Mother nicknamed the Toyota Corolla my sister and I learned to love to drive "The Sopwith Camel." Thanks for the memories, Elizabeth Barrette! (First link to her blog, second to an Amazon book page that lists her as an author...let's let that Amazon tag-widget earn its keep...)

Good News 

Children want to help other children with cancer, and their families.

Speaking of which, SARK's partner John is doing better:


An Arab-American at World News Daily, name omitted for sufficient reasons, calls out the CAIR organization that have been hassling Dr. Carson. Serious charges are made. This web site is not going to investigate those charges, but is sharing this link in case youall want to investigate them.

Phenology Links

+Barbara Radisavljevic finds a garden growing in a tree:

In South Carolina, after epic floods...

it's "Welcome Back, Sun":


The fun part of this pre-campaign news story includes, but is not limited to, the graphic that shows up on Google +. It's not on the Blaze page itself, so why is it on the Google +? Does your browser show it on the Blaze page? It's a snapshot of Candidate Clinton looking distinctly weird. A lot of us lose facial symmetry as we age, but on someone who's claimed brain damage, this face looks...alarming.


What online comments can teach us about the "emotional labor" in relationships...I'd have to print this out in order to read it, and so probably will you, but some of the comments are interesting.


Mona Andrei reports that changes of address involve some heavy thinking, in Canada. One tip I've shared in a comment on the blog post. Another tip I'll share here: If your eyes are serving you well (you don't need glasses to read or drive) when you die, and you want to pass'em on, there's no need to worry about being buried without eyes. That's what morticians are for. Plastic replacements under closed eyelids preserve the look of peaceful repose on dead faces. If cultural tradition dictates open coffins and relatives lining up to kiss the face, nobody will notice how many organs have been donated.

I mention this because I used to work with a man who was an excellent driver, in any kind of weather, thanks to a donated eye. The colors of his eyes didn't completely match, nor did they work perfectly as a team; the donated eye saw better than the one that had survived the accident. But he's worn glasses mostly for protection for thirty years.


Some successful writers don't outline novels...

...Bringing up this farrago (as distinct from a fandango).