Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20 Link Log

Happy Twitterday! Lots of links...after a dreary morning in a slow Friday Market, selling the Portal Paper, I felt a need to relax and just read as much of the e-mail and feeds as possible. Categories: Animals, Books, Business, Christian, Education, Etiquette, Flint Update, Food, Football, Funny, Gardening, Health, Nature, Politics (Election & Philosophy), Shopping. (Worth scrolling down--that Shopping link may be profitable.)


Ohhh, I'm torn, I'm torn...If the cat shown below were less cute. If the T-shirt shown below were being sold in aid of something less vile than that HSUS bid to co-opt Candidate Trump. If the competing T-shirt linked below the picture were being sold in aid of something less worthy than USO. Or even if the cat picture didn't have its own home web site stamped right across the bottom. Then I would think it was unethical to gank a picture of someone else's cat. (The ganked picture should, nevertheless, link to its source page.)

But, all of those criteria being's the shirt my cats want for their instant-privacy box. Elmo, Tickle, and Sisawat do move away from the babies sometimes, and Heather, Irene, and Inky may want instant shade and privacy, so anyone who wants to support USO (and Laura Ingraham) should feel free to buy T-shirts for all six cats as well as me. (And if you do, I promise to build terribly cute cat carrier/caves and photograph my terribly cute cats peeking out from each one.)


Marsha Cooper reviews a picture book, Stories of Courage and Faith:

Matt Barber's new book also comes highly recommended:


Seriously, there was a scandal in 2004 when Asian teenagers were brought to Maryland as sex slaves and advertised as "masseuses." Like, sure, massage therapists normally can't speak any of the same languages their customers do and always have their ankles chained to beds--who was the creep trying to fool? So I can see what provoked this raid. But when the agents found legitimate massage going on, they should have gone home. (Some of my solid clients--and personal friends--when I was doing massage were local police officers who'd investigated my business, undercover, and found it legitimate.)

Now, a completely different aspect of business news: Studies quantify exactly how and why ads annoy and alienate readers. A simple image or text box reminding people who's sponsoring a web site might qualify as positive publicity for the company. A flashy, memory-hogging, viewer-stalking ad is negative publicity that harms the sponsor and the sponsored site. (For example, consider the way Blogjob tanked after moving to a new platform that allowed more of the annoying ads. Site administrators hoped to be able to pay for more and better content. Writers hoped to get paid for more and better content. Readers weren't willing to look at our content, so the whole scheme imploded.)

And...Google headquarters survived a literal firebomb:


Now here's a well outlined, Biblically based, Biblically sound sermon. (The outlining format is messed up on the web page, but I can follow it anyway.) Thank you, Tweeps, for sharing:


Serious confusion among the Portland, Oregon, school board. That local climate change is caused by human activity is a fact. That global climate change even exists will not be scientifically provable or disprovable within our lifetime. Which are they trying to teach--the solid facts (which happen not to support a political agenda, except that humans who are aware of them are less likely to support the "global planners'" efforts to herd human populations into slums) or the pseudo-religious faith?

Thanks to Norb Leahy for posting a run-down, recommended by Karen Bracken, on exactly what states can demand private schools and homeschools do in exchange for support through voucher funding:

If private school or homeschool students, rather than public school students, had been involved in this story, imagine the outrage! Thirteen-year-old Nicole Lovell vented her feelings about being bullied at school to sympathetic-sounding older teenagers...two of whom then murdered her. "A sociopath in training," the nineteen-year-old girl calls herself. Wonder what drugs she'd been taking?


As a woman I've long been deeply offended by efforts to equate unfavorable reactions to homosexual self-advertisement with racism, sexism, or elitism. Many members of ethnic minorities feel fact, I suspect more Native Americans are offended by the false comparison than are offended by the name of the Washington Redskins, even when the'Skins lose. I'm all in favor of privacy for all people and asking no questions about what consenting adults do at home, and I think empathy is the only reaction a person of good will can have toward genuine gender confusion--but the way the deranged extroverts leading the LGBT lobby push too far is profoundly offensive. Where are (or even were) their auction blocks, prison camps, Trail of Tears? I've read many expressions of these feelings over the years. Here's the latest:

Flint Update

Can the NAACP represent the White people of Flint? (My school friend from Flint is White.) Apologies for the annoying ads and all-caps typefont.

Food (Yum) 

These vegan "Nice Cream" sandwiches aren't gluten-free, but kids will probably love them. (Adults can say we're making them for the kids.)


No, Native Americans as a group aren't bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins. (I had wondered how many respondents might have said, "If they don't start winning games I will be.")


Do we text and tweet too much?


Tips for growing cucumbers.


Nations that require more infant vaccinations have higher rates of infant death. This is not some hysterical bereaved mother's allegation. This is the U.S. National Institute of Health's reluctant admission. Too many vaccinations, i.e. the level of vaccination required to make people feel "safe" about stowing infants in day care centers, may put babies at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Is there hope for a vaccine (or a lifestyle choice) that may prevent, or reduce the risk of, breast cancer? No false hopes here: this is a very, very preliminary study toward identifying a virus that might prove to be a triggering agent. Meanwhile, note the known risk factors people can control--alcohol consumption, (unbalanced animal) hormone treatments. ("People," yes. Although men don't have functional breasts, it's still possible for men to develop breast cancer. Nearly all the studies focus on women though.)


Thanks to +Barbara Radisavljevic for sharing +Michelle V 's butterfly picture. (Why no link directly to Michelle V's Google + page? Apparently a lot of Googlers' screen names start with "Michelle V..." and, since I'm not following any of them, the system doesn't select one in the time it allows itself. Anyway you can find her page from the picture):

Politics (Election)

Vice-presidents are often considered life insurance for presidents and presidential candidates. With Candidate Trump, enough people share Scott Walker's and my "visceral reaction" to the Bankruptcy Billionnaire that a different vice-president/president dynamic could become operative. (Did Lyndon Johnson, President Kennedy's easy-to-hate vice-president, have any active role in his inheriting the presidency? Surely not...but the mere fact that he inherited it made him a suspect.)

(messy link to surprisingly tidy and well-behaved article)

What makes this Washington Post reader summary of the election outstanding isn't just that Mary Kappus shares my view of the disaster-vs-disaster-vs-disaster candidates. It's that the challenge was to write something funny using only words found in the song "American Pie."

"The Quartet Looking for the American Crown 
On the left: 
The Queen — bride of a man we recall; did write a book; knew sergeants died.
The Pink-oh — off the Marx; children admire him.
On the rite: 
The Jester: in tune with American rage; can fire every one; fat hands; foul.
And last, the Bible Lover’s Man: not American-born; singin’ “no levee”; no friend, no chance.
The verdict: not good. (Mary Kappus, Washington)"
More of this kind of thing is found in the Post on Sundays or, for those outside Washington Post delivery range, at

Politics (Philosophy)

Another graphic from the +Allen West Republic :

More seriously...As this web site remembers, our correspondents take the issue of pre-trial asset forfeiture very seriously. We think it's unconstitutional, and it's just not right, and it needs to be made illegal as soon as possible so that people who've been robbed in the name of asset forfeiture receive compensation as soon as possible. My comment here...

quotes from Jason Pye's comment here:

Meanwhile, what's Rand Paul doing these days? Trying to protect your computer from being hacked, he says.

And I want to share this one, even though I think that after devoting a little more time to clarifying his political thinking, Oldshooter may join me in discarding the word "altruism" to describe normal healthy behavior. (If an act of kindness makes me feel good, then it's not truly "altruistic" in the sense of putting the other person ahead of myself. It may even be selfish if I'm more concerned about my feeling good than about the other person's feeling good! That's why my original Associated Content slogan was "Seeking the Highest Good of All." The question is not whether to put someone else's "good" ahead of my "good" or vice versa, but how to put a more valuable "good" benefit--e.g. my learning to back off and respect someone who doesn't want to be "mothered," in some cases--ahead of a less valuable "good," considering myself and the other person as equally valuable.)


Have I posted anything about Yougov lately? It's one survey site that won't fill your inbox with spam, won't demand information you don't share online, and will send out rewards as promised...unlike so many other sites that promise to reward those who take surveys. You, too, could be getting free stuff from Yougov.

I've not previously posted the list of stores that do brand-name surveys via Yougov and reward survey takers with gift cards. I've always chosen to treat myself to pricier-than-usual yarn with a Michaels card, but what can non-knitters get from Yougov? Here's a current list of participating stores: CVS, Walgreens, Amazon, Michaels, AMC, Regal Entertainment, Fandango, Foot Locker, K-mart, Nike, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wal-Mart, Applebees, TJ Maxx, Game Stop, Lowe's, Target, Macy's, Chili's, I-Tunes, Sears, Old Navy, Global Hotel.

The further down the list you go, the more points you need to rack up to redeem a card; some companies offer $15 to $100 cards depending on your point score. (Needless to say, some surveys are offered only to people whose previous survey responses indicate that they've actually bought stuff.) You can also donate to UNICEF or, if you hoard enough points, even get a Visa(R) prepaid credit card to buy stuff from any place that takes credit cards. So, click on the link below and you, too, can get a $25 to $100 gift card in the mail every few months. (You could go directly to without using this link, but both you and I get a few extra points if you use this link.)

(They do news-and-views surveys too; for instance, this recent survey finds that most Americans just aren't sure whether to consider Vietnam an ally, or possible ally, or still an enemy.)