Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17 Link Log

Today's Links...


New book (nonfiction!) from Neil Gaiman:



If you really, really work the livin' daylights out of the Internet, you will...be exploited.



Attention craver Jordan Brown claimed to have received a cake from a Whole Foods store decorated with an offensive word, aimed at him. Here's his apology, such as it is:


And CNN exposes a charity, the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, that gives only 2% of the money it raises to the veterans. (To be fair, they are paying telemarketers, a class of employees often recruited from the very bottom of the heap...to harass people? Bah, humbug!)



The school told a student not to fly a Confederate flag because it might offend somebody. Since that offended him, the school announced a policy banning all flags. Video of the U.S. flag rally that followed:


Why are these teachers so clueless?


Meanwhile, certain students--not the ones most likely to fly Confederate flags--continue to lag behind in academic achievement. Rebecca Klein's explanation: these students tend to attend underfunded schools. I attended one of two underfunded schools in an underfunded district that tended, and still do tend, to dominate state competitions in sports, academics, music, what ever. The key is to stop telling children "The school is underfunded, therefore you can't learn," and start telling them "The school is underfunded, but so what? Go and show those kids from that overfunded school what you can do."

If you're not from Virginia I doubt you've ever heard of Gate City, Martinsville, or Gretna. If you are from Virginia, however, you know that Gate City and Martinsville are the schools that tend to keep state trophies out of your school's hands (both in Congressman Griffith's Ninth District), and one year both of them were clobbered from behind by an un-heard-of little school called Gretna (in Congressman Hurt's Fifth District). What these schools have in common: teachers who've learned how to work being underfunded. Like the beautiful iris flower, we thrive on fiscal "neglect."





The upside of fashion designers taking their inspiration from "the streets" is that kids can rock cutting-edge looks.


Food (Yum)

Meat-and-cheese-optional pasta:


Tips for softening hard cookies:


Something else to do with dandelions, if they've bloomed and become too tough to eat in salad:


"Bitter gourds" obviously aren't likely to be sold in most U.S. supermarkets...now I'm wondering whether a few sliced dandelion roots (or old greens) would add enough bitter flavor to make this recipe work with zucchini.


Fun Stuff

Did you know there's a niche market just for people who are expecting twins?



I'm asked about this from time to time, because the massage technique I've studied is "firm" (with very obvious "hard science" results) and some others are so "gentle" they hardly even count as touching...I'm convinced that Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, even Auric Massage, do work. Many humans can feel the warmth in the airspace directly above other humans' skin; any of us can measure that warmth, and can observe cases where just the transfer of physical and emotional warmth to another person (or pet) has a measurable effect on the patient's condition. (Sometimes that has an effect on the condition of the "healer" as well!) What I question is whether sick patients need to pay the fees practitioners charge for this type of "massage." I suspect that most people would get equal or better results from training our own loved ones to lay their hands on the appropriate spots and focus on transferring the emotional warmth of healing thoughts into our bodies.


Given the obvious advantages of "vaping" (or "e-cigarettes") over smoking, why did certain politicians want to crack down on vaping or even on non-cigarette smoking?



Norah Jones demonstrates the breadth of her taste:


I've never heard S.J. Tucker, but now I wish her album were available on cassette:



What would President Hillary Clinton officially do with ex-President Bill?


How much would she be likely to cost us?


I've been challenged: If I can find at least one point of agreement with the Devil Itself, assuming it has a self, can I put in a good word for Donald Trump? Scott Adams is brilliant and also Trump-friendly. Well, he's claimed to be neutral, but for about six months now he's dedicated his blog to celebrating Trump's persuasion skills, which goes a bit beyond neutrality in my opinion. I'm not neutral--see my (weekly) blog at ipatriot.com--but I will concede that Trump has obviously studied the art of persuasion from true Past Masters of the art.




And here's our Amazon Associate book picture:

This one from +Allen West Republic is a bit tangential...but he's right. Jeff Bezos gets ready to titillate Washingtonians with sex stories. Where is the news, Mr. Bezos? We already knew Trump never took wedding vows seriously. So did at least his second and third wives. Men obviously want to imagine that a man who lies to women won't lie to men, and women who respect ourselves obviously want to remind men that that's not the case, but still...Please tell us something we didn't know.


Thomas Massie: "Don't check out of the Republican party." (Priscilla King: "I've never officially checked in.")


Though maybe Senator McCain...



+Gayle Crabtree promises a North American travel blog, loaded with reviews and open to suggestions:


Bonnie Scotland: